Pleuronectes platessa


The Plaice is a diamond-shaped flatfish which lives on the sea bottom, on sandy or gravel shores. Young fish can sometimes be found in rockpools. Plaice are mainly nocturnal, feeding on molluscs and worms which they crush with their strong jaws. During the day, they tend to bury themselves in sand or gravel, lying hidden and well-camouflaged.

How to identify

Plaice are distinguished from the other flatfish (of which there are several different species) by their orangey spots and greenish-brown back.

Where to find it

Found all around our coasts.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Plaice are a commercially important species and are under threat from overfishing. You can help by being careful about what you choose in the supermarket - go for sustainably produced fish and shellfish, preferably with the Marine Stewardship Council's logo. The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Pleuronectes platessa
Fish and sharks
Length: up to 50cm
Conservation status
Classified as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.