Whelk Fishing

WhelksEastern IFCA manages whelk fishing within the district through the use of a permit scheme. To fish within the district commercially or recreationally a permit is required and fishers must fish in accordance with the permit conditions.

How do I get a permit to fish for whelks?
If you are a commercial fisher, looking to catch whelks which you will sell, please click here to download an application form.

If you are a recreational fisher, looking to catch whelks for personal consumption, please click here to download an application form.

Once completed, please send the application form onto Eastern IFCA along with the associated fee.

What is the associated fee?
For a commercial whelk fishing permit, the required fee is £0.50 per pot and a minimum fee of £50.

For a recreational whelk fishing endorsement, the required fee is £5 per pot.

Are there any permit conditions?

A summary of the permit conditions can be seen below.


MeasureCommercial                 |        Recreational
Pot limitation500 pots                                            5 pots
Pot size (internal volume)30 litres
Escape holes in potsMinimum of two escape holes of at least 24mm diameter per pot
Minimum legal size55mm
Requirement to sort catchAll catch must be sorted over a screen with bar spacing of at least 24mm – whelks rejected by the sorting must be returned immediately to the sea
Whelk pots must be taggedAll whelk pots must be tagged with tags provided by the Authority
Lost whelk pot tags must be reportedAny lost tags must be reported to Eastern IFCA
Requirement to mark gear at seaEach string of whelk pots must be marked with buoys which are visible at all times and are marked with Permit Number and the PLN of the fishing vessel (if applicable)
Requirement to complete and return catch data formsCatch returns forms must be completed and returned to the Eastern IFCA offices every month (including in months where no fishing activity occurred)


Whelk fisheries are very vulnerable to over fishing – they are not very mobile and have slow growth rates, too much fishing effort puts the fishery at a high risk of over fishing.

Please refer to the Whelk Permit Byelaw for full details.

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