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Net fishing

The following Southern IFCA Byelaws and Codes of Practice apply to those who use nets to fish in the Southern IFCA district . This includes, but is not limited to, gill nets, ring nets, seine nets and drift nets. In addition to Southern IFCA regulations, netting is also subject to a number of other pieces of legislation, as detailed below.

Southern IFCA Codes of Practice

Southern IFCA Codes of Practice

Netting Code of Practice

To avoid the bycatch of seabirds, there are a number of guidelines that those carrying out netting fishing activities should follow. See the full Code of Practice here.

Net Fishing Around Piers Code of Practice

To balance the needs of different people fishing in the Southern IFC District, The Authority have introduced a Net Fishing Around Piers Code of Practice, where nets, other than landing or drop nets, should not be used within 200m of nine piers across the District. To find out which piers this applies to and the full details of this Code of Practice, please click here.  



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 and the MCRS for those species specified in this byelaw, click here, and to view the MCRS Byelaw FAQs, please click here

Vessels Used in Fishing for Sale

No person may use a vessel (other than an open/undecked vessel navigated by oars) to take fish for the purpose of sale, unless they have registered the vessel with the Committee within the previous 24 months. See more details here.

Vessels Used in Fishing

No person may use a vessel which exceeds 12m in length for fishing. Exceptions apply; view the byelaw here.

Regulation of the use of stake or stop nets in Langstone Harbour

No person shall place any stake, stop and dosh nets in Langstone Harbour at any place which becomes dry at low water - view the full details here.

Fixed Engines Legacy Byelaw

The placing of fixed engines (nets), other than fyke nets, is prohibited from 1st April to 30th September inclusive in a number of areas. View full details of the prohibited areas here.

Sea Fisheries Fixed Engine Prohibition

The placing of fixed engines (nets) is prohibited other than exceptions around Christchurch Harbour. See the full details of this byelaw here.



The Bass (Specified Areas) (Prohibition of Fishing) (& Variation) Order 1990

It is prohibited to fish for bass, or fish for any species of sea-fish using sand-eels as bait, from a boat within any areas as defined by the Bass Order 1990. See the full details of the prohibitions here.

Council Regulation (EU) 2019/1241

Council Regulation (EU) 2019/1241

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

To view all the minimum sizes that apply within the Southern IFCA District, including those detailed in the above Byelaws and Council Regulation (EU) 2019/1241, please download our  Southern IFCA Wheelhouse Card  or view all our Minimum Sizes Regulations here 

Bass Measures – Council Regulation (EU) 2020/123

Bass Measures – Council Regulation (EU) 2020/123

The 2020 rules for recreational bass fishing have been rolled over for 2021 for both recreational and commercial fishing. Article 10 of Council Regulation (EU) 2020/123 details the restrictions for catching European Seabass, both commercially and recreationally. Commercial vessels are subject to minimum size, gear and catch quantity restrictions. Recreational fishers may only retain 2 bass - of at least the minimum conservation reference size of 42cm length - per person, per day. Bass may only be retained by recreational fishers between 1st March – 30th November 2021.

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