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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.



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.

Skates and Rays – Minimum size

No person shall take from a fishery a skate or ray that measures less than 40cm between the tips of the wings, or any wing which measures less than 20cm in its maximum dimension when detached from the body of a skate or ray. Exceptions apply under the Landing Obligation (EU 1380/2013 Article 15); see the details here.

Grey Mullet

No person shall take from a fishery a Grey Mullet that measures less than 30cm in length. View the details here.

Minimum Fish Sizes

No person shall take from a fishery, any fish species as specified in this byelaw below their minimum size when measured from snout to tail. These minimum sizes are listed in full here. Fishers should note that there are also minimum sizes under other regulations, including Southern IFCA Byelaws and Council Regulation (EU) 2019/1241, in addition to those listed in this Minimum Fish Sizes byelaw.

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

Article 13 of Council Regulation (EU) 2019/1241 details the Minimum Conservation Reference Sizes (MCRS) that apply to a number of species. A full list of species subject to Minimum Conservation References Sizes under Southern IFCA regulations and/or Council Regulation (EU) 2019/1241 can be found on our Southern IFCA Wheelhouse Card. 

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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