A chip shop favourite. It’s a right-eyed, oval-shaped flatfish with characteristic reddy orange spots and a pearly white underside. Ranging from 230g to 2kg, its orange spots are an indication of freshness; brighter spots mean a fresher fish.
Discard rates of plaice in the Western Channel are much lower, at around 20%, compared to other plaice fisheries. Ask for and only eat plaice taken in trawls using measures to improve the selectivity of the net to reduce discarding and fitted with Benthic Release Panels to reduce impact on bottom dwelling species. Increase the sustainability of the plaice you eat by avoiding immature plaice below 30 cm and during their breeding season January to March.
Unlike Dovers, Plaice is best eaten as fresh as possible, as the flavour quickly fades. Plaice is a versatile fish to cook and can be grilled, baked or shallow fried, and once cooked the flesh is tender and white with a subtle flavour. Not as pronounced a flavour as Lemon Sole, but takes sauces and other flavours very well, and is great for battering. Cook on the bone to get the best from the flavour, or use fillets with a sauce or filling. Due to its high reputation as a table fish plaice is highly targeted by commercial fishing vessels. Despite the commercial pressure that plaice are under the stocks appear to be holding up and the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) class plaice as a species of Least Concern.