Bringing the Ocean to Society
3 Jan 2017
IFREMER will tag 5,000 soles in the Eastern English Channel!
To improve knowledge on sole, the Ifremer-led sole fishery project SMAC plans to tag 5,000 fish by 2019.

This project from EurOcean´s member IFREMER grew from the extensive collaboration between fishing professionals and Ifremer scientists and intervenes at a critical time: sole catch limits have undergone drastic reductions the past three years.

The common or Dover sole (Solea solea) is one of most important commercial fish species in the Eastern English Channel. To set up sustainable management measures for the preservation of fish stocks, more information is needed on sole biology and ecology — particularly for incorporation in stock assessment models.

“Tagging is done during scientific cruises or on-board professional fishing boats with support from the crew,” explains Marie Savina-Rolland, the SMAC project coordinator and researcher at the Fisheries Resources Laboratory in Boulogne-sur-Mer (Ifremer Channel-North Sea Centre). “We plan to tag up to 5,000 fish by 2019. The data recovered from professional or recreational catches of tagged fish will help better identify the exploited sole stocks and determine if they are isolated from one another. Ideally, we hope to recover specimens from across the largest area possible (UK, France, Netherlands, Belgium) to best discern the extent of this species’ movements.”

The first tagging operations were carried out in July 2016 on-board the R/V Cefas Endeavour during a scientific cruise led by the British Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS). Operations continued in the fall on-board two professional fishing boats: the ORCA and the P’tit Vox. In all, 743 sole have already been tagged and released as close as possible to their point of capture.

If you catch a tagged sole, please call Ifremer on +33 (0)643 040 511 or send an email to smac@ifremer.fr! Please report the tag number, the location, the date of capture and the total length of the fish.

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