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.

Recreational Bass Measures 2020

Recreational fisheries, including from shore, are limited to catch-and-release only during 01 January to 29 February and 1 December to 31 December 2020.

From 1 March to 30 November 2020, not more than two size seabass (42cm) may be retained per fisherman per day.

No bass can be taken by fixed nets.

The full MMO Bass Guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bass-industry-guidance-2020/bass-fishing-guidance-2020.

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 Table

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 Table

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 Table

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 mmRetention Prohibited

Turbot (Psetta maxima)

300 mm

Witch Flounder (Glyptocephalus cynoglossus)

280 mm

Shellfish Species Table

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 Table

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 Species Table

Fish Species

Minimum Size

Short Necked Clam (Ruditapes phillippinarum)

35 mm

Winkle (Littorina littorea)

Shall not pass through a square opening of 16 mm