Minimum Sizes


Minimum sizes 

The tables below indicate the minimum sizes for fish and shellfish.  All fish below these sizes must be returned immediately to the sea.

A printable version of this information can be downloaded by clicking here:
Minimum Fish Sizes
Minimum Shellfish Sizes
Please note – European bass measures are in place.  Please click here for more information.

Table 1. finfish minimum sizes

Species Minimum size
Bass 42cm
Cod 35cm
Haddock 30cm
Herring 20cm
Horse Mackerel 15cm
Mackerel (North Sea) 30cm
Mackerel (Other areas) 20cm
Sole 24cm
Plaice 27cm
Whiting 27cm


Table 2. Shellfish minimum sizes

Species Minimum size Measurement type
Edible Crab 115mm Width the carapace (figure 1)
Lobster 87mm Length of carapace (figure 2)
Mussels (outside of the Wash) 50mm Length of Shell (figure 3)
Razor Clams 100mm Length of Shell (figure 3)
Surf clam 25mm Length of Shell (figure 3)
Velvet Crab 65mm Width of carapace (figure 1)
Whelks (caught inside the district) 55mm Length of Shell (figure 3)
Whelks (caught outside the district) 45mm Length of Shell (figure 3)


Figure 1. Measurement of the width of an edible crab



Figure 2. Measurement of the carapace of a lobster



Figure 3. measurement of the length of the shell (i.e. at the longest part)


design sprint agency