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Lemon Sole (MICROSTOMUS KITT)

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SOLE LEMON / MICROSTOMUS KITT
AT AT 1.80 3.15 Andorja Norway 080604 R. Stalcrona

Lemon sole (Microstomus kitt)

is a commercially exploited marine flatfish widespread on the coastal banks of Europe. It extends from the Bay of Biscay, north-eastwards to the White Sea, and to the north west to Rockall and Faroe banks, round the Faroe Islands, north east of Scotland and on all coasts of Iceland 1,2 . Lemon sole are found at depths between 40 to 200m and they live on any type of bottom. However they are known to favour gravel and shell gravel 1.

sole lemon microstomus kittLemon sole of up to 48cm regularly occur in commercial catches but few exceed this 2. Ages of up to 17 years are attained 1 . Spawning times vary between areas, ranging from April to September 1,2. Little information is available on their biology from Irish coasts.

In Ireland lemon sole is caught as a by-catch in otter trawls targeting demersal (bottom living) or Nephrop (prawn) fisheries. There is no quota assigned to Ireland for it. The 1999 landed weight for lemon sole in Ireland was 510.7 tonnes 3 , with a value of £759,673. This landing ranked fifteenth in order of weight and value of demersal fish in 1999.

lemon sole (MICROSTOMUS KITT)The age, growth and population dynamics of lemon sole off the west coast of Ireland is currently being investigated at GMIT. The results of the investigation will be presented for the degree of MSc in Fisheries Science in June 2002. As part of the latter submission, a review was recently conducted on a previously unpublished dataset of 475 lemon sole sampled in the Galway Bay area between 1978–1979. The data showed a male to female sex ratio of 0.59:1. The youngest and smallest fish recorded was a two year old male measuring 11.5cm, while the oldest and largest fish recorded was a nine year old female measuring 37.4cm. The age at full recruitment was determined to be at age 64. The results from the current investigation will be compared to those of 1978–1979 and will be used in the production of management advice for the lemon sole stock in the future.
Information supplied by www.irishscientist.ie

 
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