2019 Bass Regulations

New regulations have been published for the protection of the European seabass (bass), these measures came in to force from midnight on 31st January 2019.

A summary of these measures is set out below.  An update can also be found on the Marine Management Organisation website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/update-on-fishing-for-sea-bass-in-2019

Commercial fishing for bass

Commercial fishers must have an authorisation (issued by the Marine Management Organisation) to catch, retain, tranship or land bass. Authorisations are separate for different gear types used.

It is prohibited for commercial fishing vessels to fish for bass from 1st February 2019 to 31st March 2019. Commercial fishing from the shore is prohibited throughout 2019.

Between 1st April and 31st December 2019 catch restrictions will apply depending on the gear type used as shown in the table below.

Table 1: Summary of commercial bass measures for 1st April – 31st December 2019

Gear Used Authorisation required Daily by-catch limit (as percentage of total catch) By-catch limit (kilograms) Annual by-catch limit (kilograms)
Demersal trawl Y 1% Unavoidable by-catch: 400 per 2 months
Demersal seine Y 1% Unavoidable by-catch: 210 per month
Hook and line Y 5500
Fixed gillnets Y Unavoidable by-catch: 1400


Recreational fishing for bass

For recreational fishers from 1st January to 31st March 2019, and from 1st November to 31st December 2019 only catch-and-release fishing of bass is permitted. From 1st April to 31st October 2019 not more than one bass per person per day may be retained. Any additional bass should be returned immediately to the sea. In addition, the minimum conservation reference size of 42cm applies – any bass smaller than this must be immediately returned to the sea. These measures apply to fishing from vessels and from shore.


Please click below to download printable posters for the 2019 bass measures:

The same can also be obtained from the Eastern IFCA office on request – see the contact us section to get in touch.

Please also see the minimum sizes section of the website for information on other species and more printable products.


design sprint agency