Description

Recreational fishing (predominantly with rod and line) from shore or at sea from boats. Does not include pot or creel fisheries, which are dealt with under a separate activity heading.

Key locations

Throughout the Berwickshire and Northumberland coast. Popular locations include St Abbs, Eyemouth, Cullernose Point, Bamburgh, Dunstanburgh, Amble, Blyth and Tynemouth. Often occurs on piers, wrecks or areas of rocky reef.

Frequency

All year round

Potential issues

  • Removal of species
  • Disturbance to habitats and birds
  • Angling-related litter
  • Bait digging (see separate section)

Features of Marine Protected Areas which might be affected

  • Reefs
  • Sea caves
  • Sand and mud flats
  • Inlets and bays
  • Grey seal
  • Birds (wintering and breeding)

Legal Responsibilities or Duties (England)

A number of legal powers, duties, or regulatory tools exist which are relevant to this activity and its management. These are summarised in the table below:

Legal Responsibility, Duty, or Regulatory Tool Relevant Legislation Lead Organisation
Regulation of angling activity for freshwater migratory fish species within Tweed and Eye Fisheries District Scotland Act 1998 (River Tweed Order) 2006 The River Tweed Commission
Regulation of angling activity for freshwater migratory fish species to south of the Tweed and Eye Fisheries District Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975 Environment Agency
Creation and enforcement of IFCA Bylaws Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (Sections 155-162) Northumberland IFCA
Creation and enforcement of EA fisheries Bylaws

 

Water Resources Act 1981 (Section 115) Environment Agency
Restrictions on Bass fishing

 

Council Regulation 2019/124 (EU) Northumberland IFCA
Legal protection of shad Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) (Schedule 5) Marine Management Organisation
Prohibition on taking of tope

 

The Tope (Prohibition of Fishing) Order 2008 Northumberland IFCA

Relevant Guidance, Plans or Codes (England)

The following guidance, codes, plans or strategies are also relevant to the management of this activity:

 Name Description Responsible Organisation Statutory or Non-Statutory?
Guidelines for Recreational Angling The aim of the guide is to provide a brief introduction to the Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority and the existing regulations relevant to recreational sea angling within the NIFCA district. http://www.nifca.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/NIFCA-Guidelines-recreational-fishing-March-2016.pdf Northumberland IFCA Non-Statutory

Details of Current Management (England)

Sea fishing does not generally require a licence unless certain species are caught and kept. A licence is required to retain salmon and sea trout, whether caught in fresh or in salt water. The River Tweed Commission (RTC) regulates angling activity for freshwater migratory fish from an area just north of Cocksburnspath in Berwickshire down to just north of Holy Island in Northumberland and out to 5km offshore. They operate within the the Tweed and Eye Fisheries District which stretches from just north of Cockburnspath in Berwickshire, down to just north of Holy Island in Northumberland, and out to five kilometres offshore. South of the Tweed and Eye Fisheries District, the Environment Agency (EA) is responsible for regulating rod licences and the sea fishery (migratory species only) within six miles of the coast.

The River Tweed Commission’s Angling Codes can be found at https://rtc.org.uk/html/tweed_codes.html

Environment Agency Rod Fishing Bylaws can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/environment-agency-rod-fishing-byelaws-north-east-region

There are also restrictions on retaining a number of other fisheries due to there conservation status:

  • European eel (Anguilla anguilla): An Environment Agency byelaw prevent anglers from retaining eels. However, they can be retained for weighing or measuring but must be returned alive to the water they were taken from on completion of fishing
  • Shad: Under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) it is illegal to deliberately kill, injure or take allis shad (Alosa alosa) or twaite shad (Alosa fallax).
  • Tope: The Tope (Prohibition of Fishing) Order 2008 provides a national restriction on landing tope caught from a boat by rod and line. Any boat-caught tope are legally required to be released as soon as possible after capture.
  • Bass: The European Commission has determined that bass stocks remain under pressure and has placed further restrictions on the commercial and recreational fishing sectors in order to address this. During 2019, recreational fisheries, including from shore, are limited to catch-and-release only during 01 February to 31 March and 1 November to 31 December 2019. From 1 April to 31 October 2019, not more than one seabass may be retained per fisherman per day. Further details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/update-on-fishing-for-sea-bass-in-2019

Anglers are also subject to NIFCA Bylaws and must adhere to minimum sizes for fish. The use of brown crab as bait is  also prohibited. NIFCA size limits for fish species are widely publicised. http://www.nifca.gov.uk/minimum-sizes/

NIFCA have produced a guide for recreational angling.  The aim of the guide is to provide a brief introduction to the Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority and the existing regulations relevant to recreational sea angling within the NIFCA district.

Gaps in Management (England)

More information is needed about the location of angling hotspots and their overlap with sensitive areas within inshore MPAs

Legal Responsibilities or Duties (Scotland)

A number of legal powers, duties, or regulatory tools exist which are relevant to this activity and its management. These are summarised in the table below:

Legal Power, Duty or Regulatory Tools Relevant Legislation Lead Organisation
Regulation of angling activity for freshwater migratory fish species within Tweed and Eye Fisheries District Scotland Act 1998 (River Tweed Order) 2006 The River Tweed Commission
Restrictions on catch sizes of certain shellfish from unlicensed fishing boats The Shellfish (Restrictions on Taking by Unlicensed Fishing Boats) (Scotland) Order 2017 Marine Scotland
Restrictions on Bass fishing

 

Council Regulation (EU) 2019/124 Marine Scotland
Legal protection of shad Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) (Schedule 5) Marine Scotland
Prohibition on taking of tope:

 

The Tope (Prohibition of Fishing) Order 2008 Marine Scotland

Relevant Guidance, Plans or Codes (Scotland)

The following guidance, codes, plans or strategies are also relevant to the management of this activity:

Name Description Responsible Organisation Statutory or Non-Statutory?
St Abbs and Eyemouth VMR Code of Conduct The Code of Conduct for the St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve (VMR) has a voluntary prohibition against spear fishing St Abbs and Eyemouth VMR Non-Statutory

Details of Current Management (Scotland)

Sea fishing does not generally require a licence unless certain species are not caught and kept. A licence is required to retain salmon and sea trout, whether caught in fresh or in salt water. The River Tweed Commission (RTC) regulates angling activity for freshwater migratory fish from an area just north of Cocksburnspath in Berwickshire down to just north of Holy Island in Northumberland and out to 5km offshore. They operate within the Tweed and Eye Fisheries District which stretches from just north of Cockburnspath in Berwickshire, down to just north of Holy Island in Northumberland, and out to five kilometres offshore.

The River Tweed Commission’s Angling Codes can be found at https://rtc.org.uk/html/tweed_codes.html

There are also restrictions on retaining a number of other fisheries due to their conservation status:

  • Shad: Under Section 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) it is illegal to deliberately kill, injure or take allis shad (Alosa alosa) or twaite shad (Alosa fallax).
  • Tope: The Tope (Prohibition of Fishing) Order 2008 provides a national restriction on landing tope caught from a boat by rod and line. Any boat-caught tope are legally required to be released as soon as possible after capture.
  • Bass: The European Commission has determined that bass stocks remain under pressure and has placed further restrictions on the commercial and recreational fishing sectors in order to address this. During 2019, recreational fisheries, including from shore, are limited to catch-and-release only during 01 February to 31 March and 1 November to 31 December 2019. From 1 April to 31 October 2019, not more than one seabass may be retained per fisherman per day.

Regulations are in place restrict the numbers of certain shellfish species (scallop, crab, nethrops and lobster) that can be taken by unlicensed fishing boats on a daily basis.  https://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Sea-Fisheries/InshoreFisheries/unlicensed

The Code of Conduct for the St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve (VMR) has a voluntary prohibition against spear fishing

Gaps in Management (Scotland)

More information is needed about the location of angling hotspots and their overlap with sensitive areas within inshore MPAs