Fishery biologists never thought that the result of researches and restrictions would bring the plaice stocks to such healthy again. The authority has strictly restricted the fishing of plaice in the North Sea because the stocks were reducing strongly. Plaice is an important fish species in the Netherlands and it is good news for all Dutch people that the fish returned to a sustainable level.
The healthy stock of plaice was demonstrated by the catch advice, which forms the starting point for the fish quotas that are set by the European Fishery Ministers. According to the fishery researches an upward adjustment has been made upon the assessment of the quantity of plaice in the sea, and this offers a favourable outlook for the fishing opportunities for the Dutch flatfish fleet.
Jan Odink chairman of the Dutch Fish Product Board (Productschap Vis) told that rapid action should be needed from the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality to ensure the flatfish fleet survives the crisis caused by high fuel prices. He also added that if things cannot be changed then there will be no fleet to fish the plenty of fsh available by the end of the year.
It is said that sole and plaice are the most important fish species for the Dutch North Sea Fishery industry. Within the European Union no less than 74 percent of the total catch of North Sea sole is awarded to the Dutch flatfish industry. According to Odink the fishermen are now looking to the NGOs that publish the Fish Purchase Guide. The environmental organisations North Sea Foundation and WWF, will have to remove plaice from the ‘red column’.