Minimum Size Limits for Shore Caught Fish

Please note: We endeavor to keep this list of minimum fish retention sizes as accurate and up to date as possible. However, changes in laws and legislation take place on an ongoing basis. This means that changes in minimum sizes may not be reflected in the information below. The table below is therefore for guidance only.

Species Minimum Length
cm/inches
Notes
Bass 42/16½ Bass are catch and release only in January, February and December 2020. Anglers limited to retaining two bass (of minimum size) per day in all other months
Black Bream 23/9½
Brill 35/14
Bull Huss 58/23
Coalfish 35/14
Cod 35/14
Conger Eel 91/36 Usually released by anglers due to breeding patterns. See conger eel article for details.
Dab 20/8
Dogfish 38/15
Flounder 27/10
Garfish 38/15
Gurnard (Tub) 28/11
Haddock 30/12
Hake 30/12
Herring 20/8
Ling 63/25
Mackerel 30/12
Megrim 25/10
Mullet 33/13 Applies to thin lipped grey, thick lipped grey and golden grey.
Mullet (Red) 20/8
Plaice 28/11
Pollock 35/14
Poor Cod 18/7½
Pouting 18/7½
Ray 41/16 Almost all ray species are classed as Vulnerable or Near Threatened by the IUCN. Recommended that anglers catch and release ray species.
Rockling 18/7½
Scad 25/10
Silver Eel 38/15 Classed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN. Protected by laws which mean this species needs to be released if it is caught by anglers.
Skate 41/16 Classed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN. Protected by laws and legislation around the UK meaning any skate caught by anglers are released.
Sole 25/10
Smoothound 51/20
Spurdog 58/23 Numbers massively reduced in UK waters. Classed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. Recommended that all spurdog are released.
Turbot 41/16
Whiting 27/11
Wrasse 23/9
Unclassified 20/8 All other fish and mini-species that are not listed
Other Species

Halibut – May be protected by local bye-laws and need to be released.

Monkfish – May be protected by local bye-laws and need to be released.

All large shark species – May be protected by local bye-laws and need to be released.

Tope – Must be released alive due to legislation protecting this species.

* Please note: Minimum lengths may not be applicable if there is legislation/laws passed to prohibit anglers from retaining species (i.e. in the case of silver eel).

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