Senegalese Tonguesole

(Cynoglossus senegalensis)

Red sole

1. What is it?

Senegalese tonguesole (Cynoglossus senegalensis) are fast growing, bottom-dwelling, migratory fish that move inshore to spawn. Currently the stocks are rated as data deficient as no stock assessments have been conducted for stocks along the west coast of Africa ( FAO 34 ). Although there are indications that stocks were over-exploited and potentially overfished in the past.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Senegalese tonguesole is caught using demersal otter trawls which consist of nets that are dragged along the sea bed at different depths. This type of trawling is known to damage the seabed; although the extent and impact of damage remains unknown. Trawling is not a very selective fishing method and a number of other species are often caught in the nets (fish, sharks and rays). There is insufficient information available regarding the impact on birds and other endangered, threatened or protected species (ETP).

3. Where is it from?

Senegalese tonguesole are found along the coast of West Africa and imported into South Africa. Senegalese tonguesole occupy a wide depths range from shallow tidal pools to waters on the outer edge of the continental shelf up to 1500 m deep. Management in this fishery is considered to be marginally effective due to the lack of data for stock assessments as well as insufficient monitoring of impacts to threatened species and a comprehensive plan to manage these impacts. Although there are management systems in place there are indications that illegal fishing and non-compliance are widespread.