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.
For guidance on landing or exporting fresh fish and shellfish to the EU after 23:00 on 31st December 2020, please go to www.gov.gg/freshfish
Interim authorisation to ensure continuity of access to Bailiwick waters for French fishing vessels - extended to 31st May 2021.
The Bailiwick of Guernsey has agreed to the application of the relevant provisions of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union (TCA).
The Committee for Economic Development, on behalf of the Bailiwick authorities, has ensured that access for French fishing vessels in Bailiwick waters is permitted from 23:00 on 31st December 2020 on the terms agreed and set out in the TCA.
This has been achieved through an interim authorisation, initially for a period of 3 months until 31st March 2021, in order to allow time to develop a full licensing scheme for eligible French fishing vessels.
The European Commission has since requested more time to resolve the last remaining technical issues before the new regime can be brought into force. Consequently, on 31st March, this interim authorisation was extended by one month, to 30th April 2021. It has since become necessary to extend it by another month, until 31st May 2021.
If necessary, this interim authorisation can be renewed for another month until 30th June 2021. Such a renewal could be brought into force quickly again to ensure that there continues to be no gap in access.
The full licensing scheme is currently being developed and will be in place at the earliest opportunity, and by 1st July 2021. Details of the licensing scheme will be published in due course.
The purpose of the scheme will be to provide certainty and stability for French fishing vessels, so as to allow them to fish sustainably within Bailiwick waters, in accordance with the TCA.
Autorisation provisoire pour assurer la continuité d'accès aux eaux du baillage de Guernesey pour les bateaux de pêche Français - prolongée jusqu'au 31 mai 2021.
Le Baillage de Guernesey a accepté d'appliquer les dispositions pertinentes de l'accord post-Brexit entre le Royaume Uni et l'Union européenne (l'accord).
Le Comité pour le Développement Économique, au nom des autorités du Baillage, a veillé à ce que l'accès pour les bateaux de pêche français dans les eaux du Baillage soit permis à partir de 23:00 le 31 décembre 2020 selon les conditions convenues et énoncées dans l'accord.
Cela s'est fait par le biais d'une autorisation provisoire, dans un premier temps pour une période de 3 mois, afin de permettre le développement d'un régime d'autorisation complet pour les bateaux de pêche Français éligibles.
Depuis, la Commission européenne a demandé un délai supplémentaire pour résoudre les dernières questions techniques en suspens avant l'entrée en vigueur du nouveau régime. Par conséquent, le 31 mars, cette autorisation provisoire fut prolongée d'un mois, jusqu'au 30 avril 2021. Il a depuis été nécessaire de la prolonger d'un mois supplémentaire, jusqu'au 31 mai 2021.
Si nécessaire, cette autorisation provisoire pourra être renouvelée encore une fois jusqu'au 30 juin 2021. Un tel renouvellement pourrait entrer en vigueur rapidement pour continuer de garantir qu'il n'y ait pas de rupture d'accès.
Le régime d'autorisation complet est en cours d'élaboration et sera en place dans les meilleurs délais, et d'ici le 1er juillet 2021. Des informations détaillées sur le régime d'autorisation seront publiées en temps voulu.
L'objectif du régime sera de procurer une base certaine et stable pour les bateaux de pêche français, afin de leur permettre de pêcher durablement dans les eaux du Baillage, conformément à l'accord.
- Sea Fisheries is based at Raymond Falla House and has four full-time members of staff
- Senior Sea Fisheries Officer (Control & Monitoring) - David Wilkinson
- Senior Sea Fisheries Officer (Assets & Enforcement) - Michael Phillips
- Sea Fisheries Officer - Simon Hall
- Assistant Sea Fisheries Officer - Matthew Le Maitre
- 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.
Landing or exporting fresh fish to the EU after 31st December 2020
- After the Brexit transition period ends Guernsey will become a third country, which is a change to the status that has operated for 45 years and which made us part of the EU market for trade. As a third country there are two routes to the EU market for locally caught fresh fish: direct and indirect landings.
- Both routes will come with additional requirements from 1st January 2021.
- For more information, please go to: www.gov.gg/freshfish.
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
- 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.
- 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.
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.