Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Sole - Southwest of Ireland
Marine Resource  Fact Sheet
ICES Advice 2012
Sole - Southwest of Ireland
Fact Sheet Citation  
Sole Southwest of Ireland (Division VIIh-k)
Owned byInternational Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) – More
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FAO Names: en - Common sole, fr - Sole commune, es - Lenguado común, zh - 欧洲鳎
Geographic extent of Sole - Southwest of Ireland
Main Descriptors
Considered a single stock: Yes        Spatial Scale: Sub-Regional
Management unit: Yes        Reference year: 2012
Biological State and Trend
State & Trend Descriptors
Exploitation rateClose to current proxy for FMSYModerate fishing mortality
Abundance levelUnknownUncertain/Not assessed

The state of sole stock biomass in Divisions VIIh–k is unknown. However, exploratory estimates of mortality suggest that the current fishing mortality in Divisions VIIj,k has increased since 2007, but it remains below the current proxy for FMSY.
Habitat and Biology
Depth zone: Shelf (50 m - 200 m).   Vertical distribution: Demersal/Benthic.  

Geographical Distribution
Jurisdictional distribution: National

Water Area Overview
Spatial Scale: Sub-Regional

Ecoregion: Celtic Sea and West of Scotland.
Geo References
Resource Structure
Considered a single stock: Yes

The fisheries

Sole in Divisions VIIh–k are mainly taken by otter trawlers and beam trawlers.
Catch distribution Total landings (2011) were 0.217 kt.
Scientific Advice

Based on the ICES approach for data-limited stocks, ICES advises that catches should be no more than 200 t.

Management of sole should take into account the advice for reduced bycatches and discards of plaice in this management area.

This is the first year ICES is providing quantitative advice for data-limited stocks (see Quality considerations).
Overall Assessment Results
Figure Sole in Divisions VIIh–k. Left: Official landings in tonnes. Right: total mortality Z estimated over pseudo-cohorts (ages 4–9) as the slope of the log catch numbers.
Assessment Model

Quality consideration

There is no accepted analytical assessment for this stock.

Catch numbers-at-age are only available for Irish landings. Total mortality (Z) estimates are extremely volatile from one year to another, but always below the current MSY proxy. ICES considered that the average fishing mortality estimates over the last three years derived from catch curve analysis were reliable enough and could be used as a basis for advice.

The advice is based on a catch curve analysis used as an indicator of fishing mortality. The uncertainty associated with the estimates is not quantified.

The methods applied to derive quantitative advice for data-limited stocks are expected to evolve as they are further developed and validated. The harvest control rules are expected to stabilize stock size, but they may not be suitable if the stock size is low and/or the stock overfished.

Scientific basis

Assessment type Catch curve analysis.
Input data Official landings-at-age 1993–2011 for Divisions VIIj,k only.
Discards and bycatch Not included in the assessment.
Indicators None.
Other information Yield-per-recruit analysis.
Working group report WGCSE
Management unit: Yes

Management plans

No specific management objectives are known to ICES.
Source of information

The above excerpts are from the first two pages of the ICES advice, the supporting information to this advice can be read in full at the following reference:
ICES. Sole in Divisions VIIh–k (Southwest of Ireland). Report of the ICES Advisory Committee, 2012. ICES Advice, June 2012. Click to open
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