Information on the minimum fish size you are allowed to take by law from the sea. The list below does not include all fish species but commonly caught fish people take for the table. If in doubt put it back, it’s better to have a healthy breeding population and only take decent size fish. There isn’t really much to eat on the smaller fish.
Minimum Fish sizes
|Species||Scientific name||MCRS in UK waters*|
|Anchovy||Engraulis encrasicolus||Whole area, except ICES division IXa east of longitude 7° 23′ 48″ W: 12 cm or 90 individuals/kg.ICES division IXa east of longitude 7° 23′ 48″ W:10cm|
|Bass||Dicentrarchus labrax||42 cm (1)|
|Blue ling||Molva dipterygia||70 cm|
|Cod||Gadus morhua||35 cm|
|Haddock||Melanogrammus aeglefinus||30 cm|
|Hake||Merluccius merluccius||27 cm|
|Herring||Clupea harengus||20 cm|
|Horse mackerel||Trachurus spp.||15 cm|
|Ling||Molva molva||63 cm|
|Mackerel||Scomber spp.||Whole area, except North Sea: 20 cm.North Sea: 30 cm|
|Megrim||Lepidorhombus spp.||20 cm|
|Plaice||Pleuronectes platessa||27 cm|
|Pollack||Pollachius pollachius||30 cm|
|Red Sea Bream||Pagellus bogaraveo||33 cm (2)|
|Saithe (Coalfish)||Pollachius virens||35 cm|
|Sardine||Sardina pilchardus||11 cm|
|Sole||Solea spp.||24 cm|
|Whiting||Merlangius merlangus||27 cm|
This is taken from the UK gov marine management organisation and are the minimum conservation reference sizes for UK waters.
There is however one large exception to the above rules, that is regarding Bass. For the remainder of the year (2018) it is against the law to remove any Bass regardless of size. This exert has been taken from the .gov website.
- Recreational Bass fishing
For recreational fishers, any bass caught during 2018 must be returned immediately. This applies if you are fishing from a boat or from the shore.
This is currently being challenged by the EAA, you can read about it in more detail HERE