Deep sea fishing can be for commercial purposes or as a hobby. When it comes to fishing licences in the UK, things can get a bit complicated so it is vital to learn more than just the basics. The UK and EU have fishing regulations to ensure that there is control over fishing activities.
With cases of overfishing and threats to certain fish species, it has become necessary to exert control over how these practices are carried out. A fishing licence is essential if you have intentions of selling your catch.
Selling fish without a proper licence is a legal basis for prosecution, and an individual may be required to pay a substantial fine. Even if you are just selling to neighbours, a licence is required.
When You Don’t Need A Licence
There are some instances where a licence is not necessary for deep sea fishing. One scenario is when a vessel carries anglers who are fishing for recreational purposes. When fishing for common eels and with a vessel that is not more than 10 meters long, a licence is not needed.
Fishing for migratory trout and salmon will require you to get more information from the Environmental Agency. If the fishing is done within 12 nautical miles of the Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey, then you have to consider the regulations of those particular areas.
How to Get A Licence
Fishing licences are of two types. One is a domestic licence for fishing in the UK and EU waters, and the other is an external licence if fishing will go beyond the UK and EU. For a vessel to get a licence, it must first be registered.
The Registry of Shipping and Seamen is the body responsible for the regulation. Licencing also varies depending on the type of vessel and what kinds of fish you intend to catch. For deep sea species, you will need a licence that covers that specifically.
Another point of importance to take into account is that there are no new licences issued for fishing vessels. What happens is that first-time applications get transfers of entitlement, which means you get a licence from a previous holder.
For a licence entitlement to be available for purchase, it must not be connected to a fishing vessel that is still active. The best way to find licence entitlement is to look for advertisements in trade newspapers. Alternatively, you can use a fishing vessel agent to find an entitlement that caters to your specific needs.