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Pot & Trap fishing

The following Southern IFCA Byelaws and Codes of Practice apply to fishers who use pots and traps, such as whelk pots, cuttlefish traps, or crab and lobster pots, to fish in the Southern IFCA district. In addition to Southern IFCA regulations, potting is also subject to a number of other pieces of legislation as detailed below.

Southern IFCA Codes of Practice

Southern IFCA Codes of Practice

Cuttlefish Traps Code of Practice

The Cuttlefish Traps CoP outlines a few points that should be adhered to by fishers carrying out cuttlefish trapping activities in the Southern IFCA district, in order to ensure that cuttlefish eggs can grow and hatch. View the full details here.

Wrasse Code of Practice

In order to maintain a sustainable population of wrasse, a number of voluntary measures should be followed by any person commercially fishing for wrasse. These include no take zones, maximum conservation reference sizes, closed seasons and fishing effort guidance. See the Wrasse Code of Practice and the Code of Practice Map.

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 any  person, both recreational and commercial. To see the Minimum Conservation Reference Size Byelaw and the MCRS for Wrasse species, 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, 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. View full byelaw here.

Vessels Used in Fishing

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

Poole Harbour – Prawns Close Season Byelaw

No person shall fish for any prawns (or remove from the fishery) in Poole Harbour from 1st January – 31st July. View full byelaw here.

Prohibition of Berried Lobsters

No person shall remove from the fishery any berried (egg-bearing) lobsters. View full byelaw here.



The Lobsters and Crawfish (Prohibition of Fishing and Landing) (Amendment) (England) Order 2017

No fishing boat shall fish for or land:

  • any mutilated lobster or crawfish
  • any lobster or crawfish bearing a v-notch (v- shape cut into a part of the tail fan)
  • any berried lobster or crawfish (egg bearing)

Find more details on the  original 2000 order here  and the  2017 amendment 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

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