The laws governing the minimum sizes for landing of sea fish are laid down by the EU.
Additionally in the UK we have regional bodies called IFCA’s (Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities) who can set higher minimum sizes for their region than the EU regulations dictate.
Unfortunately the regulations don’t currently take into account the size at which various species achieve sexual maturity, which in itself is open to scientific debate. Furthermore, many species have no minimum size set whatsoever! (Black Bream being one example).
At the time of writing this post the whole EU Common Fisheries Policy is being reviewed but for now the minimum retention sizes laid down by the Sussex IFCA are as follows:
|Species||Sussex Minimum Size||Notes|
|Edible Crab||140mm||carapace width|
|Velvet Crab||65mm||carapace width|
|Spider Crab (Male)||130mm||carapace length|
|Spider Crab (Female)||120mm||carapace length|
Source: Minimum Sizes – Sussex IFCA
In addition to the the minimum sizes stated above the following species are protected by law:
- European (Silver) Eels MUST be returned.
- Tope MUST be returned.
- Shad MUST be returned.
- It is proposed that Monkfish are to be protected soon.
- Undulate Ray are endangered and return is recommended.
- Porbeagle Shark are endangered and return is recommended.
- Spurdog are endangered and return is recommended.
Grey Viking Policy
On Grey Viking we respect the laws and recommendations above vigorously and additionally it is our policy to return all Conger Eel to preserve stocks on our wrecks.
We also encourage the return of all fish that are not destined for the table and remind our customers that it is ILLEGAL to SELL your catch.
This post will be amended or rewritten as legislation changes.