A reanalysis of North Sea plaice spawning-stock biomass using the annual egg production method

C.J.G. van Damme, L.J. Bolle, P. Fossum, G. Kraus, M. Dickey-Collas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Uncertainty about the quality of current virtual population analysis-based stock assessment for North Sea plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) has led to various abundance indices. We compared biomass estimates from the annual egg production (AEP) method with current stock assessments based on catch-at-age to validate the current and historical perception of exploitation. The AEP method was also used to investigate the dynamics of the spatial components of plaice in the North Sea. We corrected for fecundity down-regulation and changes in sex ratio. Estimates from both methods were similar in trend and absolute biomass. On the Dogger Bank, there was a dramatic decline in biomass from 1948 and 1950 to 2004, and in the Southern Bight, the stock appeared to increase from 1987 and 1988 to 2004, although not reaching the historically high levels of 1948 or 1950. The timing of spawning of North Sea plaice does not appear to have changed throughout the period of high exploitation. We conclude that the AEP method is a useful way to hindcast the spatial dynamics of heavily exploited flatfish stocks
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1999-2011
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • pleuronectes-platessa l
  • herring clupea-harengus
  • gadus-morhua l.
  • solea-solea l.
  • irish sea
  • fecundity regulation
  • english-channel
  • fish community
  • oocyte growth
  • fisheries


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