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.


Measure Commercial                 |        Recreational
Pot limitation 500 pots                                            5 pots
Pot size (internal volume) 30 litres
Escape holes in pots Minimum of two escape holes of at least 24mm diameter per pot
Minimum legal size 55mm
Requirement to sort catch All 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 tagged All whelk pots must be tagged with tags provided by the Authority
Lost whelk pot tags must be reported Any lost tags must be reported to Eastern IFCA
Requirement to mark gear at sea Each 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 forms Catch 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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