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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.

Salmonid Good Handling Code of Practice

This Code of Practice sets out good practice for handling and release of salmonids (Atlantic salmon [Salmo salar] or sea trout [Salmo trutta]) to minimise the risk of damage or stress to the fish and maximise the post-capture survival rate. When fishing in the Southern IFC District, please observe this CoP in the event that you catch a salmonid in a net. To view the Code of Practice, please click here.



Net Fishing Byelaw

The byelaw introduces Net Prohibition Areas, Net Restriction Areas and Net Permit Areas. Net fishing is prohibited in Net Prohibition Areas. Net fishing within Net Restriction Areas is subject to seasonal and/or gear restrictions and net fishing within Net Permit Areas is managed by permitting named individuals and specific vessels under flexible permit conditions.

The byelaw requires that all nets used in the District be marked, provides a definition for a ring net and a method for use of a ring net and also introduces provisions related to using a net within a Bass Nursery Area. 

To view the Net Fishing Byelaw please click here.
To view the Net Fishing Byelaw Infographic please click here.
To view the Net Fishing Byelaw Gear Marking Guidance please click here.

For information on Net Permits please visit the Net Fishing Permit page.

For details of supporting documents which underpin the Net Fishing Byelaw please visit the Net Fisheries page.

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

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.

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 Regulations

Bass Regulations

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

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

Council Regulation (EU) 2020/123 & Amendments

Article 10 of  Council Regulation (EU) 2020/123 The Sea Fisheries (Amendment etc.) Regulations 2021  and  The Sea Fisheries (Amendment etc.) (No. 2) Regulations 2021  detail the restrictions for catching European Seabass for both Commercial and Recreational fisheries. 

Net Fishing Byelaw

The Southern IFCA Net Fishing Byelaw specifies that:
A person must not use a net within a Bass Nursery Area in the District if:
a) any bass is carried on the person or on board the vessel; and
b) the net use is taking place during a Bass Nursery Area prohibited period.

View all the regulations that apply to Recreational and Commercial Bass fishing on our Bass Regulations page here.

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