Minimum Sizes

The current minimum landing sizes of fish and shellfish within the North Western Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority district. The sizes apply both at sea and on the shoreline, for both commercial and recreational use. Any fish or shellfish below this size must be immediately returned to the sea.

Please note that there are two sets of additional minimum sizes; one that applies in the former North Western Sea Fisheries Committee district and one that applies in the former Cumbria Sea Fisheries Committee District.

Bass Measures 2019

All recreational fishing for Bass is catch and release only between the following dates:

1st February and 31st March 2019 (inclusive).

1st November and 31st December 2019 (inclusive)

Between 1st April 2019 and 31st October 2019 (inclusive) recreational anglers may retain one European seabass (over 42cm) per fisher per day.

Full guidance can be found on the MMO website.

Handling Bass: Bass must be handled carefully to ensure a high survival rate of released fish. Anglers are advised to carry forceps or long-nosed pliers to assist removal of hooks and to support fish in the water until they are able to swim off.

Minimum Sizes that apply in the Whole District

These sizes apply throughout our district. Please note that additional size byelaws apply depending on whether you are in the former North Western Sea Fisheries Committee district or the former Cumbria Sea Fisheries Committee District; these can be found below these tables.

Fish Species

Fish Species Minimum Size
Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax 420 mm
Blue Ling (Molva dypterygia) 700 mm
Cod (Gadus morhua) 350 mm
Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) 300 mm
Hake (Merluccius merluccius) 270 mm
Herring (Clupea harengus) 200 mm
Horse Mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) 150 mm
Ling (Molva molva) 630 mm
Mackerel (Scomber scombrus) 200 mm
Megrim (Lepidorhombus sp.) 200 mm
Plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) 270 mm
Pollack (Pollachius pollachius) 300 mm
Red Seabream (Pagellus bogaraveo) 330 mm
Saithe/Coley (Pollachius virens) 350 mm
Sole (Solea sp.) 240 mm
Whiting (Merlangius merlangus) 270 mm

Shellfish Species

Shellfish Species Minimum Size
Bean Solen (Pharus legumen) 65 mm*
Carpet shell (Venerupis pallustra) 38 mm
Cockle (Cerastoderma edule) Shall not pass through a square opening of 20 mm
Clam (Venus verrucosa) 40 mm
Crawfish (Palinurus spp) 95 mm
Deepwater Rose Shrimp (Parapenaeus longirostris) 22 mm
Donax Clam (Donax sp.) 25 mm
Edible Crab (Cancer pagurus) 130 mm
Hard Clam (Callista chione) 60 mm
Lobster (Homarus gammarus) 87 mm
Mussel (Mytulis edulis) 45 mm*
Nephrops (Nephrops norvegicus) 20 mm carapace length or 70 mm total length
Octopus (Octopus vulgaris) 750 g
Queen Scallop (Aequipecten opercularis) 40 mm*
Razor Clam (Ensis sp.) 100 mm*
Scallop (Pecten maximus) 110 mm*
Spider Crab (Maia squinado) 130 mm (Male) or 120 mm (Female)
Surf Clam (Spisula solidissima) 25 mm
Velvet Crab (Liocarcinus puber) 65 mm
Whelk (Buccinum undatum) 45 mm*

*Longest part of shell.

Minimum Sizes that apply in the former North Western Sea Fisheries Committee District

These sizes apply between the Welsh border in the Dee Estuary to Haverigg Point in Cumbria.

Fish Species

Fish Species Minimum Size
Black Seabream (Spondyliosoma cantharus) 230 mm
Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus) 700 mm or 6.4 kg

Retention Prohibited

Brill (Scophthalmus rhombus) 300 mm
Conger Eel (Conger conger) 580 mm
Dab (Limanda limanda) 150 mm
Flounder (Platichthys flesus) 250 mm
Grey Mullet (Chelon labrosus) 200 mm
Lemon Sole (Microstomus kitt) 250 mm
Red Mullet (Mullus surmuletus) 150 mm
Swordfish (Xiphius gladius) 25 kg or lower mandible 1250 mm

Retention Prohibited

Turbot (Psetta maxima) 300 mm
Witch Flounder (Glyptocephalus cynoglossus) 280 mm

Shellfish

Fish Species Minimum Size
Short Necked Clam (Ruditapes phillippinarum) 40 mm

Minimum Sizes that apply in the former Cumbria Sea Fisheries Committee District

These sizes apply from Haverigg Point in Cumbria to the Scottish border in the Solway Firth.

Fish Species

Fish Species Minimum Size
Ray 45 cm between the extreme tips of the wings
Ray – Wings that have been detached from the body. 22 cm in its maximum dimensions

Shellfish

Fish Species Minimum Size
Short Necked Clam (Ruditapes phillippinarum) 35 mm
Winkle (Littorina littorea) Shall not pass through a square opening of 16 mm