This report describes the first part of an ex post and ex ante evaluation of the long term management plan for sole and plaice in the North Sea as laid out in Council Regulation (EC) No 676/2007. This plan has been in place since 2007. The plan aims to ensure, in its first stage, that the stocks of plaice and sole in the North Sea are brought within safe biological limits. This shall be attained by reducing the fishing mortality rate on plaice and sole by 10 % each year, with a maximum TAC variation of 15 % per year until safe biological limits are reached for both stocks. These measures are to be further supported by imposing limits on the effort of fleets fishing these stocks. Following this, and after due consideration by the Council on the implementation methods for doing so, the plan will ensure that the stocks are exploited on the basis of maximum sustainable yield and under sustainable economic, environmental and social conditions.
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