Fact File:

Common Name(s): Sole

Scientific Name: Solea solea

Usual Size:30-40 cm

UK Record Weights from rod/line:

Shore:6-08-10 Alderney NV Guilmoto 1991

Boat: 4-01-12 Great Bank, C.I. M Eppelein 1993

MAFF Minimum Size: Shore: Boat:
NFSA minimum size, shore: 25 cm, boat: 25 cm

The sole has an elliptical outline, a rounded snout and a curved mouth. The nasal openings are on the white underside.

Spawning takes place in spring (off southern England) or early summer (southern North Sea). Females each release around 100,000 eggs in shallow waters, and the young migrate to the bottom after metamorphosis (12-15 cm). Soles reach maturity at 3-5 years (25-30 cm).

Soles inhabit shallow sandy waters, where they lie buried by day, emerging at night to feed.

Food consists of small invertebrates, such as worms, crustaceans and bivalve molluscs.

The sole ranges throughout British waters, but is more common in the south.

Additional Notes:
The sole is a valuable commercial fish, commonly taken along with plaice by beam trawl fleets.

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