This paper is one of a series on the fecundity of the plaice Pleuronectes platessa L. over a wide area of its geographical distribution and is concerned with the number of ripening eggs in the roes of female Icelandic plaice prior to spawning (see Bagenal, 1962, for references to other areas).
Thirty-eight plaice were caught by the Icelandic research vessel ‘Maria Julia’ on 23 and 24 March 1961 in the Midnessjor area. They were measured and weighed and the otoliths were extracted. The ovaries were preserved in modified Gilson's fluid (Simpson, 1951). I am very grateful to Mr Jon Jonsson who kindly made all the arrangements and Mr Gunnar Joakimsson who prepared the material in Iceland. The fish were very ripe and a few had developed translucent eggs, but spawning had not begun. The subsampling and statistical treatment of the results were the same as before (Bagenal, 1962). The otoliths, after being kept dry, were very difficult to read.
The Icelandic plaice are an isolated population, separated by deep water from the rest of Europe, and there are several spawning areas. currents move clockwise round Iceland and will carry the fertilized eggs and young larvae from Midnessjor and the S.W. coast spawning areas (Thomsen, 1948) to the good nursery grounds of Faxa Bay. Tåning (1929, 1948) has given accounts of the Faxa Bay plaice biology and suggests that ‘the eggs and tiny fry, which are found in the Bay in the spring months, seem mainly to come from the outside, for the greater part most probably from S.W. Iceland’. The eggs from the population offish considered in this paper, from Midnessjór, would drift into Faxa Bay which forms a good nursery ground.