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Minimum legal sizes

ALL FISH BELOW THESE SIZES MUST BE RETURNED IMMEDIATELY TO THE SEA
Council Regulation (EEC) 850/98, Statutory Instruments
* Kent and Essex Sea Fisheries Committee Byelaws
Unless specified all measurements apply to the dimension of length. Additional information regarding the method of measurement for fish, crustacea and molluscs should be referred to if necessary.

Finfish
 
BASS 42 cm
COD 35 cm
HADDOCK 30 cm
HERRING 20 cm
HORSE MACKEREL 15 cm
MACKEREL (North Sea) 30 cm
MACKEREL (Other Areas) 20 cm
SOLE 24 cm
PLAICE 27 cm
WHITING 27 cm
GREY MULLET*# 30 cm
SKATES & RAYS (Wing tip to wing tip)# 40 cm
SKATES & RAYS (Detached wings)# 19 cm

# wef 30 November 2015 this byelaw does not apply where the landing obligation under Article 15 of Regulation (EU) 1380/2013 requires the fish to be landed.

 

Crustacea    
LOBSTER (Homarus gammarus) 87 mm  carapace length
EDIBLE CRAB (Cancer pagurus) 130 mm  carapace width
VELVET CRAB (Necora puber) 65 mm  carapace width
SPIDER CRAB (Maia squinado) 130 mm (males)        120 mm (females)  carapace lengthcarapace length
CRAWFISH (Palinurus spp.) 95 mm carapace length

 

Molluscs    
QUEEN SCALLOP (Chlamys spp) 40 mm  shell width
KING SCALLOP (Pecten maximus) (Area VIId) 110 mm  shell width
KING SCALLOP (Pecten maximus)* 110 mm shell width
WHELK (Buccinum undatum) 45 mm  shell length
RAZOR CLAM (Ensis spp) 10 cm  shell length
OYSTER (native) (Ostrea edulis)* 7 cm ring size  (see below)
COCKLE (Cerastoderma edule) 16 mm shell width

The shell must be unable to pass through a circular ring with a 70 mm internal diameter

Minimum sizes for less common species are as follows (cm):-
Anchovy 12, Bluefin Tuna 6.4kg, Blue Ling 70, Hake 27, Ling 63, Megrim 20, Octopus 0.75kg, Pollack 30, Saith 35, Sardine 11, Swordfish 25kg/125cm, Clam 4, Donax Clams 2.5, Hard Clam 5, Short necked Clam 4, Surf Clam 2.5, Carpetshell 4, Grooved Carpetshell 4, Norway Lobster 8.5/2.5/4.6, Crawfish 11
Undersized marine organisms shall not be retained on board or be transhipped, landed, transported, stored, sold, displayed or offered for sale, but shall be returned immediately into the sea.