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Minimum legal sizes

ALL FISH BELOW THESE SIZES MUST BE RETURNED IMMEDIATELY TO THE SEA
FISH, MOLLUSC AND CRUSTACEA MINIMUM SIZE EMERGENCY BYELAW 2019 – click here for a copy of the Byelaw
The measurement of the size of a marine organism is specified within Schedule 1 of the Byelaw.

The byelaw provisions shall not apply to any catch that is subject to Article 15 of Regulation (EU) 1380/2013 or any subsequent regulation that requires fish to be retained and landed in order to prohibit discarding at sea. For details of the 2019 landing obligations see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/landing-obligation-2019-rules-and-regulations/landing-obligation-general-requirements-2019–2

Named Fish Species
BASS (Dicentrarchus labrax) 42 cm
HAKE (Merlucciuc merluccius) 27 cm
COD (Gadus morhua) 35 cm
HADDOCK (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) 30 cm
HERRING (Clupea harengus) 20 cm
HORSE MACKEREL (Trachurus trachurus) 15 cm
MACKEREL (North Sea) (Scomber scomber) 30 cm
MACKEREL (Other Areas) (Scomber scomber)  20 cm
SOLE (Solea spp.) 24 cm
PLAICE (Pleuronectes platessa) 27 cm
WHITING (Merlangius merlangius) 27 cm
 LING (Molva molva) 63 cm
POLLACK (Pollachius pollachius) 30 cm
SARDINE (Sardina pilchardus) 11 cm

 

Named Crustacea Species  
EUROPEAN LOBSTER (Homarus gammarus) 87 mm 
EDIBLE CRAB (Cancer pagurus) 130 mm 
VELVET SWIMMING CRAB (Necora puber) 65 mm 
SPIDER CRAB (Maia squinado) 130 mm (males)        120 mm (females) 

 

Named Mollusc Species    
QUEEN SCALLOP (Chlamys spp) 40 mm 
SCALLOP (Pecten maximus)  110 mm 
CARPETSHELL (Venerupis pullastra)  38 mm
WHELK (Buccinum undatum) 45 mm 
RAZOR CLAM (Ensis spp) 100 mm 
DONAX CLAMS (Donax spp.) 25 mm
HARD CLAM (Callista chione) 60 mm
SHORT-NECKED CLAM (Ruditapes phillipinnarum)  35 mm 
GROOVED CARPETSHELL (Ruditapes decussatus) 40 mm
OCTOPUS (Octopus vulgaris) 750g