Minimum sizes that apply to recreational fishing in Cornwall

There have been significant changes made to the management of fisheries at a European level which will affect those fishing in the Cornwall Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) district in a number of ways.  One of the significant changes resulting from the new technical measures relates to recreational fishing.

CHANGES FOR RECREATIONAL FISHING

Under the new EU regulation, there are no longer any European minimum sizes for sea fish applied to recreational fishing.  However, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has said that it will apply the 42cm minimum conservation reference size for bass to recreational fishing.

The only minimum sizes that apply to recreational fishing in the Cornwall IFCA district are prescribed under our Specified Fish Sizes byelaw, and other byelaws for various shellfish species.

For recreational fishing, the following minimum sizes apply within the Cornwall IFCA district (with some small exceptions, as described below) Please note these sizes also apply to the commercial sector except where the Landing Obligation is applied.

FIN FISH 
Length
Conger Eel58cm
Hake30cm
Grey Mullet 20cm
Red Seabream25cm
Black Seabream23cm
Red Mullet15cm
Witch Flounder28cm
Dab15cm
Lemon Sole25cm
Flounder25cm
Megrim25cm
Brill30cm
Turbot30cm
 SHELLFISH CARAPACE
Crawfish110mm
Edible Crab female150mm
Edible Crab male160mm
Spider crab130mm
Lobster90mm
Mussels50mm shell length

The sizes listed above result from byelaws inherited from the former Cornwall Sea Fisheries Committee and therefore, do not apply to the whole of the larger Cornwall IFCA district, principally within the rivers and estuaries.  

In addition to the above shellfish minimum sizes, please be aware that cockles that are removed from Cornish rivers and estuaries must not pass through a space of 20mm width.

SPEARFISHING 

It is an offence to catch or harvest marine species using any type of projectile, including handheld spears and spear guns used in recreational fishing from dusk till dawn or when using an aqualung.

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