The plaice (Pleuronectes platessa
) is a typical flatfish. It is oval in shape and is right-eyed (if the fish is visualised swimming upright, then both the eyes are on the right side of the body). The upper side is basically brown with numerous, conspicuous orange or red spots. Some individuals may also have smaller white spots, especially when living in areas where the sediment has bits of white shell or pebble. The lower side is white. They can change their colour to suit the bottom but the orange spots often give them away. The usual size limit is about 50-60 cm but exceptional specimens can reach 90 cm (although rare due to fishing pressure). Plaice feed on bottom-living animals, particularly shellfish such as cockles and razor shells. Worms, crustaceans, brittlestars and sand eels are also eaten. Plaice mostly spawn between January to March, each female producing up to half a million eggs. Around Britain, the eggs are laid in fairly shallow water between 20-40 m in well-defined spawning grounds.Plaice are very important commercial fish and are caught in trawls and seine nets and sometimes by anglers. Plaice spend much of their time lying quietly on the bottom, often partly buried.