Recreational Activity

The North Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NEIFCA) District hosts large numbers of Recreational Sea Anglers who enjoy the benefits of the varying coastal conditions. Sea angling brings many social and economic benefits to participants and to local communities. There are a number of angling charter boats, both boat and shore-based angling clubs, angling shops, as well as thousands of individuals not affiliated with a club located in the North East District. Regional sea fishing social media groups have thousands of members, which reflect the importance of the sport.

Historically, the Sea Fisheries Committees that came before the IFCAs were under no obligation to assess or manage recreational fishing. Now, under the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009), the NEIFCA has a legislative duty to seek to ensure the sustainable exploitation of sea fisheries resources as well as balancing the social and economic benefits of this exploitation. The term “sea fisheries resources” means any plants or animals that live in the sea excluding migratory fish and freshwater fish (including salmon, trout, eels, lampreys, smelt, and shad).

Recreational sea angling is not regulated in the same way as commercial fishing and there is currently no record of who participates, when and where angling occurs, or what is caught. The NEIFCA collect as much data as possible during routine patrols and inspections but there is still a lack of comprehensive knowledge surrounding the type, extent, and importance of sea angling in our District.

The NEIFCA recognises that anglers hold a wealth of knowledge and data on fish stocks. The NEIFCA wants to engage with recreational sea anglers of all descriptions and is developing a Recreational Sea Angling Strategy to facilitate and develop positive engagement. The Strategy is designed as a live working document that will evolve over time, developing a dialogue with sea anglers and incorporating input and feedback we receive from the sector.

Reporting Suspicious Activity:

If you witness any suspicious fishing or gathering activity please contact the NEIFCA office as soon as possible on the number provided. All calls are dealt with in the strictest of confidence.

Do I Need a Permit?

A permit is not needed if you are a recreational angler. If you plan on taking shellfish, a Limited Shellfish Permit is required. Please visit:

Or phone: (01482) 393515

When collecting any bait for fishing, only take what you will need and try to back fill any holes you dig on the beach.

Try to avoid disturbing resting birds when bait collecting as these animals need to feed at low tide to enable them to survive a long cold winter and even migrate.


It’s not uncommon for you to see one of our Fishery and Conservation Officers patrolling the coast.

They may want to have a look at what you have caught and make sure it is the right size or is not subject to any restrictions.

Look out for our patrol vessel the North Eastern Guardian III patrolling our coast.

Minimum Conservation Reference Size:

Minimum conservation reference sizes (MCRS) ensure the health of the stock and allow the species to breed at least once before being removed from the sea.

You can contact our office if you are unsure of the correct size for the animal you wish to catch.

For a full list of Minimum Conservation Reference Sizes of fish and shellfish please click here


Sea Bass:

Please contact NEIFCA for the latest guidance on recreational sea bass fishing.


No tope or parts can be taken from the district. All tope must be immediately returned to the sea.

Salmon and Sea Trout:

Any salmon or sea trout must be returned immediately unless you hold an appropriate Environment Agency license.


It is prohibited to catch, retain or fish for any shad species. Any shad caught, must be returned immediately

No Take Zones:

A no take zone exists at Flamborough Head. This extends from Sewerby Steps to Danes Dyke and 700m seawards from the base of the cliffs.

Nothing can be taken from the shore or sea.

Keep up to date:

To ensure that you comply with all relevant regulations and for the most up to date information phone: (01482) 393515

Download our leaflet

Limited Shellfish Permit

This Guide:

We want to help recreational fishers who fish from the shore or a boat to understand the laws that affect them.

This guide gives a brief overview of regulations surrounding the Limited Shellfish Permit.

Do I need a Limited Shellfish Permit?

Before you can catch edible and velvet crabs, lobster and whelks from the shore, a boat or diving, you need a Limited Shellfish Permit.

What is a Limited Shellfish Permit?

It is a permit available to hobby fishermen that allows an individual to take up to 2 lobsters, 10 crabs and 30 whelks (shellfish) per day from the shore or a boat.

If there is more than one permit holder present on a boat, you can still only take the above allowance per boat.

Tags issued are to be affixed to any pots or net used to identify their owner.

You are permitted to use up to 100m of net to fish for shellfish. However, there are a number of byelaws you must follow.

Where Can I Apply?

You can apply for a permit on our website at:

You can also call our office and we can post out an application form: (01482) 393515


Berried Hens:

It is prohibited to land any female lobster or edible crab bearing eggs. If one is caught, it must be returned immediately and as close as possible to the location at which it was caught.

Escape Gaps:

Escape gaps are mandatory under NEIFCA Byelaw XXVIII. All gaps must measure 80mm x 46mm.

V Notched Lobster Tails:

Have a look at the picture below to see what a V notch looks like. This is done to protect female lobsters old enough to breed. If one is caught, you must return it to the sea or rock pool straight away.

Hover over the image to zoom in on the v notch.

V Notch lobster V Notch lobster

Keep up to Date:

To ensure that you comply with all relevant regulations and for the most up to date information or phone: (01482) 393515

Download our leaflet


The North East is home to many different intertidal habitats and rockpooling offers a wonderful way to enjoy and explore these habitats. Our NEIFCA Rockpooling Guide can help you identify some of the different fauna and flora you may spot while exploring our coastline.

Please remember to follow the Seashore Code when exploring:

  • Always let someone know where you are.
  • Walk carefully over rocks to avoid damaging plants and animals.
  • Don’t take living plants or animals home.
  • Take your rubbish home with you or put it in the bin.
  • Report anything unusual that you find on the beach.
  • Always put overturned rocks back carefully as you find them.
  • Take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints.
Download our leaflet

Get in touch with us

Have you got a question? Use the form here to ask us, or contact us directly using our details below.

01482 393515

Town Hall,
Quay Road,
YO16 4LP

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