Plaice is most commonly a right eyed flatfish with distinctive bony tubercles behind the eyes. Plaice can vary considerably in colouration depending on the location and substrate they live on but are generally brown-grey on the topsidewith varying shades of orange spots which may or may not always be visible. This variability in colouration camouflages plaice against the seabed of sand, gravel and mud which they are usually found living over. They are commonly found in coastal shallow waters down to 100 m or more, plaice feed on bottom living invertebrates, including molluscs, polychaete worms and small fish. Females spawn in late winter producing planktonic larvae which remain in the water column during larval stages.
Plaice are an important part of the benthic ecosystem which is affected by the methods of fishing used to catch them. The increase fishing pressure on this species due to a mixed beam trawling fishery for sole and plaice with 80 mm has led to increased mortality of undersized plaice which is thought may result in an age and size of maturity reduction in plaice and other benthic species.
Click here to read t the KEIFCA Species Management Plan for Plaice