The SMAC program

SMAC is a research program on the Eastern Chanel sole (Solea solea). The objective is to increase our knowledge of the ecology and exploitation of this stock in order to improve its management.
This program is funded by France Filière Pêche and the "Direction des pêches maritimes et de l'aquaculture". 3 research institutes are involved: IFREMER, Agrocampus Ouest and the UMR BOREA, as well as 3 producer organisations: FROM Nord, CME and OPBN, and the 3 fishermen committees in the region: CRPM Nord Pas de Calais Picardie and Haute et Basse Normandie.

This program evolves from the discussions between fishermen representatives, managers and scientists around the design of a management plan for the Eastern Channel sole stock in 2015. We are aiming at filling the gaps in our knowledge of this stock and its exploitation which were identified during those discussions.

It is organised in 3 work packages:

Populations spatial structure and connectivity

 • Which spawning grounds and nurseries the adult soles caught in the Eastern Channel come from? and what is the contribution of each nursery to the total recruitment in the Eastern Channel?

• What are the movements of the adults (1) within the Eastern Channel and (2) between the Eastern Channel and the Western Channel and the southern North Sea? 

 • How to integrate our knowledge of the stock spatial structure in the assessment models, and what consequences on scientific advice on the management (1) of the stock and (2) of the habitats that are essential to the stock recruitment?


• What is the variability of larvae and juveniles abundances in space and time, and how this variability is apprehended by the only recruitment survey in the Eastern Channel?

• Is it possible to start an additional survey in collaboration with fishermen?

Fishing strategies and selectivity

• what the selectivity of the current gears? How to improve it?

• What are the current fishing strategies and how do they vary between regions?

• How efficient can be current and future management strategies in terms of selectivity? 

All the field work needed in these 3 work packages will be organised in collaboration with fishermen.

All the collected data will be used to improve our population dynamic models.