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Specific regulations are in force in the Kent and Essex district and these vary depending on the type of pots you wish to set.

For full details check our REGULATIONS pages


Lobster & Crab

Marker buoys and similar objects floating on the surface and intended to indicate the location of fishing pots and traps shall be clearly marked at all times with the letters and numbers of the vessel to which they belong or the owners name and address.

It is prohibited to use any parlour pot unless it is fitted with at least one unobstructed escape gap in the exterior wall of the parlour. Any escape gap must be designed so that a rigid box gauge measuring 84 mm wide 46 mm high 100 mm long may pass easily through the gap. Escape gaps must be fitted such that the longitudinal axis is parallel to the base of the pot, and must be fitted as close to the base as is practical and in all cases within 100 mm of the base.

The hinge or clasp securing the door of any parlour pot must be made of rubber, metal, or a similar natural material that will require replacement annually.

The prescribed minimum size for lobsters is 87 mm. It is prohibited to land, carry, sell, or offer for sale any lobster below the prescribed minimum size.

No person shall remove from the fishery any berried  lobster.

The landing of any mutilated lobster or crawfish, or any lobster or crawfish bearing a V notch is prohibited.

Edible crabs may only be retained and landed whole, however a maximum of 5% by weight of the total catch of edible crabs or parts thereof may consist of detached claws.

It is prohibited to land edible crabs which have not attained a size of 130 mm and which have been caught outside the Eastern Sea Fisheries district. The minimum size for edible crabs caught inside the Eastern Sea Fisheries district is 115 mm.

The minimum size for edible crab in area VIId (South of 51° N) is 140 mm


Anyone wishing to fish for whelks within the district must hold a current KEIFCA whelk permit. There are 2 categories of permit available. Category 1 permits for up to 300 pots and Category 2 permits for up to 10 pots.

No person shall set a whelk pot that it is not fitted with a tag issued to that person.

All whelk pots must contain at least 10 escape holes no less than 25 mm in diameter positioned at least 150 mm from the base and no less than 50 mm from the top of the pot.

All whelks must be graded for size using a riddle constructed of parallel bars no less than 25 mm apart. All whelks which pass through the riddle must be returned to the sea. The KEIFCA whelk minimum size byelaw specifies a minimum shell height of 53mm with an allowance of 5% of whelks which may be undersized.

Each string of pots shall be clearly marked with a floating buoy or dahn at each end. The buoy or dahn must be at least 30 cm diameter and shall be clearly marked with the whelk permit number, and in the case of a registered fishing vessel, the PLN.