Megrim

Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Rockall
Stock detail — VIb
Picture of Megrim

Sustainability rating three info

Sustainability overview

The stock biomass is at a healthy level and fishing pressure sustainable. Avoid eating immature fish (less than 25cm) and during their spawning season (January to April).

Biology

A common flatfish found in shelf seas throughout the northeast Atlantic. Megrim spawns in spring in deep water off Iceland, and between January and April along the edge of the continental shelf to the southwest and west of the British Isles. It is found at depths ranging from 50-800 m, but with the highest abundance around 100-300 m. For both sexes combined, 50% of individuals mature at about 20 cm at 2.5 years old. Males reach first maturity at a lower length and age than females. Megrim can attain a length of about 60 cm, although more usually 35-45 cm, and a maximum age of 14-15 years.

Stock information

Stock Area

Rockall

Stock information

There is no analytical assessment of this stock however MSY proxy reference points were estimated in early 2016 using landings and catch data.
The biomass has increased in the last decade and is currently above the MSY Btrigger proxy level. The harvest rate has been low and relatively stable since 2007 and is currently below the F MSY proxy level.
ICES advises that when the precautionary approach is applied, catches in 2017 should be no more than 379 tonnes. If discard rates do not change from the average of the last three years (2013-2015), this implies landings of no more than 342 tonnes and a discard rate of 10%.

Management

No specific management objectives are known to ICES for this stock. There is an agreed total allowable catch (TAC) for megrim in the area and a minimum conservation or landing size of 20 cms.

Capture Information

Megrim are predominantly caught using otter trawls. The minimum landing size for megrim in this and other areas is 20 cm.

Alternatives

Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below. Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.

Dab
Halibut, Atlantic (Farmed)
Halibut, Pacific
Megrim
Plaice
Sole, Dover sole, Common sole
Turbot (Farmed)

References

ICES Advice 2016, Book 5 http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2016/2016/meg-rock.pdf