- Sole (fish)
The soles are
flatfishes of various families. Generally speaking, they are the members of the family Soleidae, but, outside Europe, the name 'sole' is also applied to various other similar flatfish, especially other members of the "sole" suborder Soleoideias well as members of the flounder family.
cookery, there are several species which may be considered 'true' soles, but the common or Dover sole " Solea solea", often simply called "the" 'sole', is the most esteemed and most widely available. (Davidson)
The name 'sole' comes from its resemblance to a sandal, Latin "solea". In other languages, it is named for the
tongue, "e.g." German "Zunge", Spanish "lenguado".
The name 'sole' outside Europe presents a confusing picture. Davidson says:
North America, the two names [sole and flounder] are applied in what seems like a haphazard manner across the whole range of flatfish.... So on seeing what we call a sole an American would be apt to describe it as a flounder. If served what we call a flounder he would probably wonder why it had been deprived of the more honorific title of sole. The situation is irremediable. (Davidson, 1972, p. 224)
Indeed, in North American restaurants, the name 'sole' is often used to name any small flatfish, especially when filleted.
Worldwide, members of several groups of
flatfishare called 'soles'. A complete list can be found using [http://fishbase.org/ComNames/CommonNameSearchList.php?CommonName=sole Fishbase's search function] . They include:
*In the "sole" suborder Soleoidei:
** The "true soles"
Soleidae, including the common or Dover sole "Solea solea". These are the only fishes called 'soles' in Europe.
** The "American soles"
Achiridae, sometimes classified among the Soleidae.
** The "tongue soles" or "tonguesoles"
Cynoglossidae, whose common names usually include the word 'tongue'.
* Several species of righteye flounder in the family
Pleuronectidae, including the lemon sole, the Pacific Dover sole, and the petrale sole.
The True Sole "solea solea" is sufficiently broadly distributed that it is not considered a threatened species; however,
overfishingin Europe has produced severely diminished populations, with declining catches in many regions. For example, the western English Channeland Irish Seasole fisheries face potential collapse according to data in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.
Sole, along with the other major bottom-feeding fish in the
North Seasuch as cod, monkfish, and plaice, is listed by the ICESas "outside safe biological limits." Moreover, they are growing less quickly now and are rarely older than six years, although they can reach forty. World stocks of large predatory fish and large ground fish such as sole and flounder were estimated in 2003 to be only about 10% of pre-industrial levels. [Clover, Charles. 2004. "The End of the Line: How overfishing is changing the world and what we eat". Ebury Press, London. ISBN 0-09-189780-7 ] [Myers, Ransom A. and Worm, Boris. "Rapid worldwide depletion of predatory fish communities." "Nature" 423, 280-283 (15 May 2003).] [Dalton, Rex. 2006. "Save the big fish: Targeting of larger fish makes populations prone to collapse." Published online [http://www.nature.com/news/2006/061016/full/061016-8.html] ] According to the World Wildlife Fundin 2006, "of the nine sole stocks, seven are overfished with the status of the remaining two unknown." ["European plaice and sole." [http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/what_we_do/marine/help/seafood_lovers/fish_dishes/plaice_fillet/european_plaice_and_sole/index.cfm] ]
European Sole [http://www.sea-fishing.org/sea-sole.html UK Sole Picture] Α
*Alan Davidson, "North Atlantic Seafood", 1979. ISBN 0-670-51524-8.
*Alan Davidson, "Mediterranean Seafood", 1972. ISBN 1-58008-451-6.
* [http://www.sea-fishing.org/sea-sole.html European Sole picture and information]
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