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Minimum Sizes

The following minimum sizes regulations apply within the Southern IFCA District:

Minimum Conservation Reference Size Byelaw

A person must not take, retain on board, tranship, land, transport, store, sell, display or offer for sale from a fishery within the District, any fish or shellfish species specified in the schedules which measure less than the minimum conservation reference size specified in the schedule. Any such fish or shellfish must be returned to the sea immediately. 

The Minimum Conservation Reference Sizes listed in the schedules of this Byelaw apply to  all fishery participants, both recreational and commercial, and throughout the supply chain. 

To view the MCRS Byelaw, click here. To read more about the MCRS Byelaw, please see our MCRS Byelaw FAQs here

Fishing for Cockles Byelaw

A person must not take from a fishery a cockle which will pass through a gauge having a square opening measuring 23.8mm along each side. Other gear restrictions also apply. View the details here.

Mussels Byelaw

No person shall remove from a fishery any mussel less than 50mm in length. Exceptions apply for the relaying of mussels for cultivation purposes.  View the details here .

Oysters Byelaw

No person shall remove an oyster that will pass through a circular ring of 70mm diameter View details of the byelaw here.  

Wrasse Fishery Guidance

The Maximum Conservation Reference Sizes for Wrasse species are detailed in the Wrasse Guidance. All live wrasse above these sizes should be returned to the fishery immediately.

Please note: The Wrasse Minimum Conservation Reference Sizes which previously applied to Wrasse species under the Wrasse Guidance are now covered under the Southern IFCA Byelaw and therefore enforceable by law. To see the Minimum Conservation Reference Size Byelaw and the MCRS for Wrasse species, please click here

Recreational Fishing for Bass

Recreational fishers are subject to the following rules:

- Bass may only be retained between 1 January to 31 January 2023 and 1 April to 31 December 2023

- Bass may  not  be retained during February and March 2023

- Two Bass may be retained per person, per day within this period

- Bass retained between these dates must measure at least the Minimum Conservation Reference Size of 42cm in length

- Fixed nets and drift nets cannot be used to catch or retain bass

- These rules apply when fishing from a boat or from the shore

Please see the MMO website for the full recreational Bass Fishing rules.
It is prohibited to fish for Bass in any Bass Nursery Area. Click here for more information.

Minimum Sizes for Commercial Fishers - Technical Conservation Measures 2019/1241

Regulation 2019/1241  specifies the Technical Conservation Measures that Union fishing vessels must follow. Article 13 of 2019/1241 details the Minimum Conservation Reference Sizes (MCRS) of marine species that apply to commercial fishing vessels.

Useful Resources:

Please click here to download our Southern IFCA wheelhouse card which summarises the regulations, including minimum sizes, that apply within the Southern IFCA District, in addition to species measurement guides.

If you live and fish recreationally or commercially within the Southern IFCA District and would like a Southern IFCA Minimum Fish Size Sticker, please contact us with your postal address.
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