Plaice, a common fished flatfish, has 4 key varieties: European, American, Alaskan and Scale-Eyed. The most commercially important of the 4 key varieties is the European due to it being a common serving in English sea food restaurants.
European plaice are a right-eyed flounder of the Pleuronectidae family. Living in the sand bottoms of the European shelf, these plaice are, as previously stated, commercially important due to their taste and availability to be consumed. European plaice can be found in many places and range from the Barents sea to the Mediterranean sea. A good way to identify European plaice is by their smooth, brown skin and their characteristic red spots and bony ridge positioned behind their eyes. These plaice can be found as deep as 200 feet and feed on polychaete, crustaceans and bivalves. The best time to fish for European plaice is at night because they move to shallow waters to feed whereas in the day they bury themselves in the sand on the ocean floor.
As food, plaice is most commonly eaten in Danish and North-German cuisine. There are several ways which plaice are most commonly prepared, including: filleted, battered, and pan-fried. Each of these ways of serving the fish is popular both hot and cold and is often enjoyed within sandwiches. In Britain, plaice is often an option as the fish side of the dish in the popular fish and chips combination meal.
Plaice are currently listed as “outside safe biological limits” by the ICES, they are also growing less quickly now and are regularly caught at the age of six when they can grow to be 40 years old. This means fishing of plaice for commercial use should be monitored as it is unsafe to let the population dwindle. However, fishing of plaice on a personal scale is fine, especially if you are using a catch and release method.