Sole (Solea solea) in Subarea 4 (North Sea)
The EC has adopted a management plan for flatfish in the North Sea in June 2007 (Council Regulation (EC) No. 676/2007, see 6.4.10 Annex). This plan has two stages. The first stage aims at an annual 10% reduction of fishing mortality in relation to the fishing mortality estimated for the preceding year until an F of 0.2 is reached, with a maximum change in TAC of 15% until the precautionary reference points are reached for both sole and plaice for two successive years. ICES interprets the F for the preceding year as the estimate of F for the year in which the assessment is carried out. The basis for this F estimate in the preceding year will be a constant application of the procedure used by ICES in 2007. In the second stage, the management plan aims for exploitation at F = 0.2.
ICES has evaluated the long-term management plan and concluded that it leads on average to a low risk of B < Blim within the next 10 years. ICES concludes that for sole the management plan can be provisionally accepted as precautionary. According to the evaluation the agreed management plan can be provisionally accepted as precautionary for sole and could be used as a basis for the management of the stock in the short term. Additional evaluations of the management plan are necessary to take into account retrospective bias of the assessment and the sporadic nature of recruitment.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee