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Shore Gathering

The following regulations apply to shore gathering fishing methods in the Southern IFCA District. These methods include hand gathering clams, cockles, mussels and oysters. 

Southern IFCA Codes of Practice

Southern IFCA Codes of Practice

Bait Digging Code of Practice

The Bait Digging Code of Practice restricts or prohibits bait digging in certain parts of Poole Harbour, in order to protect seagrass and bird-sensitive areas. See the restrictions and prohibitions here.



Prohibition of Gathering (Sea Fisheries Resources) in Seagrass Beds Byelaw

No person shall dig for or take sea fisheries resources from any prohibited area. Some gear types are exempt from this prohibition. View the full byelaw here.

Poole Harbour Shellfish Hand Gathering

From the 1st November to 31st March inclusive, a person must not take from a fishery, shellfish of any kind by hand gathering or with the use of a hand tool, in the defined areas within Poole Harbour. View the byelaw here and maps of the closed areas here.

Periwinkles Byelaw

No person shall take from a fishery any periwinkles between the 15 th May and 15 th September inclusive. No person shall take periwinkles except by hand picking. View the details here .

Oysters Close Season Byelaw

No person shall take oysters from a fishery from 1st March to 31st October in any year, both days inclusive. Oyster cultivation exceptions apply; see full details here.

Temporary Closure of Shellfish Beds Byelaw

Where any shellfish bed is depleted and requires closure to recover, the Committee may establish a temporary shellfish bed closure, wherein no person may take shellfish from the defined shellfish bed. View the details here .

Fishing for Cockles

A person must not take from a fishery a cockle between 1st February and 30th April inclusive. A person must not remove a cockle from a fishery, unless complying with the gear restrictions and minimum size requirements. See the full byelaw here .

Fishing for Oysters, Mussels and Clams Byelaw

Oysters, Mussels and Clams may only be fished for by handpicking or dredging. View the details here .

Scallop Fishing Byelaw

No person may fish for or take any scallop from a fishery before 0700 and after 1900 local time. View the details here .

American Hard Shelled Clams – Minimum Size

No person shall remove from a fishery any American Hard-Shelled Clams that measure less than 63mm across the longest part of the shell. View the details here.


No person shall remove an oyster that will pass through a circular ring of 70mm diameter or any cultch for young Oysters to grow on. View further details of the byelaw here.


No person shall remove from a fishery a mussel measuring less than 50mm in length. Mussel cultivation exceptions apply with permission from Southern IFCA. View the details here

Redeposit of Shellfish

Any person who takes shellfish from a fishery within the Southern IFCA district where the removal or possession of it is prohibited, should return the shellfish to the fishery, as near as possible to the place it was taken. View the details 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. 

Credit: Emma Rance
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