Regulations and legislation
The majority of the legislation pertinent to fisheries in English waters, and legislation pertinent to Wales are below. These are intended as aids to the industry and their legal advisors, and to ensure a compliant fishing industry in English and Welsh waters.
- Post-landing activities
- New rules on removing shark fins on board vessels
- Reducing cetacean by-catch
- Amendments to technical conservation measures
- The Blue Book and EU and UK legislation
The traceability, weighing and transporting of fish, fisheries products and aquaculture products are regulated post-landing activities. The guidance provides the legal requirements for carrying out the three activities and any exemptions.
The European regulation that prohibits removing shark fins on board vessels for EU vessels in all waters and non-EU vessels in EU waters has been amended so that EU member states are no longer able to issue permits allowing vessels to remove shark fins on board vessels. No UK vessel has been permitted to remove shark fins since 2009. Read more about the new rules on removing shark fins on board vessels.
We are responsible for implementing and enforcing Council Regulation (EC) No 812/2004 in English waters from 1 July 2013. This will be carried out by our marine enforcement officers, together with the Royal Navy fisheries protection vessels. Read our information pack and guidance on how the regulation will be enforced.
Council regulations 1288/2009 and 579/2011 continued certain technical conservation measures that were established by Council Regulation (EC) 43/2009. These transitional provisions were intended to be replaced by a new technical conservation measures framework as a result of Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform. However, until this can be put in place, the European Council has recognised the need to continue these transitional measures.
Regulation (EU) No 227/2013 (PDF 1.3 MB) amends Council Regulation (EC) No 850/98 to incorporate these provisions and cames into force on 23 March 2013. This amendment establishes, among other things:
- measures to reduce discarding – a prohibition on high-grading and moving-on provisions and prohibition on slipping
- restrictions on fishing for cod, haddock and whiting in ICES area VI
- restrictions on fishing for cod in ICES area VII ("the Celtic Sea" or "Trevose" closures)
- special rules for the protection of blue ling
- measures for the redfish fishery in international waters of ICES areas I and II and in the Irminger Sea and adjacent waters
- electric fishing in ICES divisions IVc and IVb
- catch handling and discharge restrictions on pelagic vessels
- technical conservation measures in the Irish Sea
- use of gillnets in ICES divisions IIIa, IVa, Vb, VIa, VIb, VIIb, c, j, k and ICES areas VIII, IX, X and XII east of 27 degrees west
- condition for fisheries using certain towed gears authorised in the Bay of Biscay
- measures for the protection of vulnerable deep-sea habitats in the NEAFC Regulatory Area, ICES divisions VIIc, j and k, and VIIIc
- an amendment to Council Regulation (EC) No 1434/98 for a specific derogation from the conditions for landing by-catches of herring in small meshed fisheries in ICES division IIIa, area IV, division VIId and European Union waters of ICES division IIa.
The Blue Book is a consolidated version of UK and EU fisheries legislation. This collection of legislation is intended as documentation tool only and the Marine Management Organisation does not assume any liability for the contents.
- Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing legislation
- UK legislation: www.legislation.gov.uk
- Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009
- EU legislation: EUR-Lex
- Legislation relating to Wales (Welsh Blue Book) (PDF 6.3 MB) (updated 1 July 2010)
- Legislation relating to Scotland
- Isle of Man and the Channel Islands:
Help with documents
Some of these documents are in the portable document format (PDF) for downloading. Adobe Acrobat Reader can be freely downloaded from www.adobe.com/uk/