2023 Bass Regulations: Commercial and Recreational
Last updated: 31/3/2023
The 2023 Statutory Bass Fishing Guidance was updated on 22nd March 2023. A summary of how bass measures apply in the Eastern IFCA district is set out below. To read the full information on the rules, regulations and restrictions for bass fishing in 2023 published by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), please go to:
2023 Statutory Bass Fishing Guidance
Commercial Bass Fishing
Trawls and Seines
All commercial fishing vessels are now authorised to land bass bycatch by demersal trawls and seines and no written authorisation is required. Ring nets are not included in the trawls and seines category. It is prohibited for vessels using ring nets to land bass.
Bass caught using trawls and seines remain subject to a 5% by weight of all marine organisms per trip. 2023 regulations set an unavoidable by-catch limit of 3.8 tonnes (3800kg) per vessel per year.
Other Gear Types
If you want to catch and retain bass by other gears you must have a written authorisation from the MMO to do so. Authorisations are being issued to vessels with a track record of landing bass during the reference period of 1 July 2015 to 30 September 2016 subject to any successful transfer requests.
Once you have been issued an authorisation you will be authorised to catch and retain bass with the gear types listed on your authorisation, subject to the specific limitations for each gear.
No bass can be taken by shore-based fixed gillnets.
A UK fishing vessel may carry only one authorised fishing gear on a fishing trip when retaining bass on board.
During January 2023 and from 1st April until 31st December 2023, the catch, retention, transshipment and landing of bass in our district is only permitted if you have an authorisation from the MMO to do so.
Recreational Bass Fishing
These rules apply if you are fishing from a boat or from the shore.
Recreational fishing, including from shore, is limited to catch-and-release only during 1 February to 31 March 2023.
From 1 January to 31 January 2023 and 1 April to 31 December 2023, no more than two seabass may be retained per fisherman per day.
The minimum size of European seabass is 42 cm.
No bass can be taken by fixed or drift nets.
For 2024 the retained EU law will be amended to align the closed season with the commercial closed season – February and March.
The above infographics are available to download in a print-friendly format through the following links:
2023 Commercial Bass Measures (PDF print)
2023 Recreational Bass Measures (PDF print)
The infographics can also be obtained as posters or flyers from the Eastern IFCA office on request – see the contact us section to get in touch.
Please see the minimum sizes section of the website for information on other species in our district and more printouts.