Sea Fisheries is a service under the Committee for Economic Development. It is responsible for the administration of the Bailiwick of Guernsey fishing vessel licensing scheme and enforcing fisheries legislation on land and at sea.
Important information on how Licencing could be affected by Brexit can be found via the Guernsey No Deal Brexit Guide [838kb].
The Office of Environmental Health and Pollution Regulation is responsible for registering and inspecting food businesses. Under local food legislation fishing vessels are included as 'food businesses'. Guidance documents specific to fishing vessels are available from the Office of Environmental Health and Pollution Regulation.
- Sea Fisheries is based at Raymond Falla House and has three full-time members of staff
- Senior Sea Fisheries Officer (Control & Monitoring) - David Wilkinson
- Senior Sea Fisheries Officer (Assets & Enforcement) - Michael Phillips
- Sea Fisheries Officer - Daniel Ingrouille
- The Officers' roles are varied and include:
- Administering the Bailiwick of Guernsey licensing regime for all British registered fishing vessels
- Enforcing fisheries legislation on land and within Bailiwick fishery limits (0-12nm)
- Collecting and analysing catch and effort statistics on the commercial fishing industry
- Maintaining and crewing the Committee for Economic Development's marine assets, FPV Leopardess and FPV Puma
- Patrolling 1,200 square nautical miles of Bailiwick fishery limits
- Being on-call 24/7 to offer the services of FPV Leopardess to other States of Guernsey departments
- Administering and monitoring imports and exports of wild and farmed fish and shellfish
- Licensing and monitoring of local shellfish farms
- Day-to-day liaison with industry members and other local government departments
- Local Notices to Mariners (LNTM), legislative updates and general fishing news are posted on Sea Fisheries' Facebook page.
Fishing Vessel Licensing
- In accordance with the Sea Fish Licensing (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2012, ALL British-registered vessels commercially fishing within the 0 - 12nm limit of Bailiwick waters (please download the 'Bailiwick Fishing Limits' chart from this page) need a Bailiwick of Guernsey fishing vessel licence. For information regarding the 2012 Law and the Bailiwick of Guernsey Fishing Vessel Licensing Policy, please contact Sea Fisheries.
- All vessels commercially fishing within Bailiwick of Guernsey waters must adhere to the MMO monthly catch limits. These limits are different for Over 10m and Under 10m vessels. Please see the following links to access the current monthly relevant catch limits:
- The current MMO monthly catch limits for Under 10m vessels are available here. For those vessels which are members of a Producer Organisation (PO), the catch limits are those set by the relevant PO. The applicable areas for Bailiwick of Guernsey waters are VII, VIIe and Western. Please see the ICES chart for area information.
- The current MMO monthly catch limits for Over 10m vessels are available here. For those vessels which are members of a Producer Organisation (PO), the catch limits are those set by the relevant PO. The applicable areas for Bailiwick of Guernsey waters are VII, VIIe and Western. Please see the ICES chart for area information.
- Sea Fisheries is responsible for the licensing of all shellfish farms within the Bailiwick. There are a total of seven licensed aquaculture sites distributed around Guernsey's west and north coasts, as well as one licensed site on Herm. There is also an oyster farm located in a disused quarry in the north of the island.
- Before issuing a shellfish farm licence the Committee for Economic Development will take into account the welfare of the fishing industry and the relevant experience of the person making the application.
- Regular inspections are carried out by Sea Fisheries Officers to ensure that the sites remain in a safe and suitable condition. Due to their location at the far end of the intertidal zone, it is only possible to carry out thorough inspections during spring tides. It is not always possible to visit all of the sites on each set of spring tides.
- For more information on shellfish licences or if you have any concerns about the condition of an existing site please contact Sea Fisheries using the contact button on this page.
- Please click on the links below to be taken to an online copy of the following laws and ordinances:
- The Fishing Ordinance, 1997
- The Fishing (Minimum Size and Prescribed Species) Order, 1997
- The Fishing (Minimum Size and Prescribed Species)(Amendment) Order, 1999
- The Fishing (Restrictions on the use of Trot Line and Set Net) Order, 1997 (associated chart is available for download from this page)
- The Fishing (Licensing and Protection of Fisheries) Ordinance, 1987
- The Sea Fish Licensing (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2012
- Copies of any legislation may be downloaded in .pdf format directly from the Guernsey Legal Resources website. If you have difficulty in obtaining a specific piece of fisheries legislation or would like to discuss any aspect of Bailiwick fisheries law please contact Sea Fisheries.
- The Code of Practice for the Safety of Small Fishing Vessels was introduced in 2008 is made under the Small Fishing Vessels (Safety Regulations)(Bailiwick of Guernsey) Regulations 2007, which is part of the Merchant Shipping Act 2002 and enforced by Guernsey Harbours.
- The aim of the code is to improve safety in vessels of less than 15 metres length overall (LOA). In addition to ensuring that fishing vessels are constructed and equipped to a minimum standard, it also requires the crew to be trained in sea survival and the safe operation of the vessel.
- Sea Fisheries has been appointed by Seafish, who are the approved training body for Guernsey and the UK, to provide certified training courses to anyone who is going to sea and fishing commercially.
- The training courses required in the Code of Practice are;
- Sea Survival
- Fire Fighting
- First Aid
- Safety Awareness and Risk Assessment
- Stability Awareness
- Courses are run according to demand and each course lasts a day. To book a place on a course please contact Sea Fisheries. For all other queries regarding training please contact Guernsey Harbours on 720229.
- Sea Fisheries Officers compile statistics on the landings and value of the major commercial species landed by Guernsey registered vessels, together with the amount and types of fishing effort conducted by these vessels. These data are summarised in our annual statistical reports.
- In addition, Officers have collected data on the sea temperature at St Peter Port harbour since 1980. Annual average temperatures have been approximately 1 degree centigrade higher this decade than were recorded in the 1980s. This of course has important implications on the abundance and types of commercial species available to the local fishing fleet.
- Officers are always keen to receive information on any aspect of the marine environment such as -
- sightings of dolphins and whales
- unusual marine species
- algal blooms
- unusual or abnormal condition of any fish or shellfish
- The most recent statistical report can be downloaded from this page. Previous years' reports, dating to 2004, are available on request.
Young Entrants Support Scheme
- The Bailiwick Fisheries Management Commission (BFMC) launched a scheme to help young people take their first steps into commercial fishing. The scheme allows keen and committed young people to have a fishing licence to operate a small boat for up to 3 years as an on-the-job apprenticeship before investing in a full licence for themselves.
- Young fishermen represent a key component of the sustainable development of the Bailiwick's fishing industry in Alderney, Guernsey and Sark. By providing a licence for a few start-up years, the scheme will help young fishermen learn more about fishing and develop their businesses. To be a successful applicant they will have to show they have a commitment to running their own vessel and that they have a reasonable level of skill and training to get them launched safely.
- The cost of operating a fishing vessel can involve considerable expense, therefore the Bailiwick Fisheries Management Commission (BFMC) through the States of Guernsey Committee for Economic Development are able to provide young Bailiwick fishermen with a Bailiwick of Guernsey Fishing Vessel Licence for under 10 metre vessels to fish in the Bailiwick 0-12nm limit only.
- This licence will offer the opportunity to establish a fishing business without the immediate need to purchase a fishing vessel licence beforehand, offering a considerable saving to young fishermen. These licences will be issued for a 3 year period only, by which time the applicant should know if fishing is a long term career option for them and are able to invest in a larger vessel and licence.
- To find out if you are eligible to apply for a licence and for further details please see the notes for applicants below. An application form is also available in the downloads section of this page.
- For further information please contact Sea Fisheries.
- Shellfish sampling is very important as shellfish are prone to contamination with food poisoning organisms. This is particularly true of bivalve molluscs (such as oysters and mussels) as they are filter feeders (i.e. they feed by straining suspended matter and food particles from the water). However, providing shellfish are safely reared and placed on the market they should be safe for consumption without the necessity of being cooked or subsequently processed.
- Shellfish sampling is overseen by the Office of Environmental Health and Pollution Regulation. Samples are routinely collected in order to monitor the quality of the shellfish that are commercially harvested on the Island and to control the risk of people becoming ill from eating local shellfish.
- Local shellfish beds are also classified by the Office of Environmental Health and Pollution Regulation as per the UK Food Standards Agency's classification system.
- Bathing water quality is an important issue on Guernsey. The Office of Environmental Health and Pollution Regulation, in conjunction with the Office for Environment and Infrastructure, undertakes an ongoing sampling programme to monitor the condition of the seawater around the island. The samples are tested by the States Analyst's Laboratory against the values specified in the European Union Bathing Water Directive - 76/160/EEC.