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Fishing in Langstone Harbour

Langstone Harbour supports a small fleet of commercial fishing vessels, which catch a variety of seafood including Clams, Whelks, Oysters and finfish from its waters.

Fishing activity is regulated by the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (sIFCA). Information about sIFCA byelaws can be viewed here.

Anyone wishing to fish commercially (i.e. sell your catch) within the Southern IFCA District, of which Langstone Harbour is a part, must hold a current Southern IFCA permit, which will be issued to a vessel providing that:

1) It is under 12 metres overall length;

2) It is registered with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)

3) It has a fishing licence (administered by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO)).

Application forms for a Southern IFCA permit can be requested by telephone, post or email. Full contact details can be viewed by clicking here.
A Southern IFCA permit is valid for 24 months from the date of issue.

The information below on landing sizes and closed seasons is provided to assist fishermen, but should not be used as a definitive statement of current regulations. Please contact the Southern IFCA on 01202 721373 for further information.

Minimum Landing Sizes in cm
Bass 42.0
Black Seabream 23.0
Cockle 2.38
Crab (brown) 14.0
Crab (spider) 12.0 (F) 13.0 (M)
Crab (velvet) 6.5
Mackerel 20.0
Mullet (grey) 30.0
Mussel 5.0
Oyster 7.0
Pollack 30.0

Close Seasons
Cockles 1 Feb – 30 Apr
Oysters 1 Mar – 31 Oct
Winkles 15 May – 15 Sep
Bass 1st January - 1st November*
*Dramatic declines in Bass stocks in recent years have caused further restrictions to be placed upon both the length of the closed season and the number of Bass allowed to be caught by both commercial and recreational fishermen. For up to date information on the current regulations on the capture of Bass please contact the Southern IFCA.


The seabed in certain areas of Langstone Harbour is home to beds of Seagrass – a rare type of marine plant. Seagrass beds are an extremely important habitat, as not only do they help bind the seabed together to stop it from being eroded by the sea, but also provide a home for many juvenile fish and other marine creatures. Healthy Seagrass beds are important for healthy and productive fish stocks in this region.

The Southern IFCA have implemented two byelaws which protect this fragile habitat. These byelaws make it an offence to tow fishing gear of any kind within the Seagrass Protection Areas (shown in red on the chart opposite), as well as prohibiting the gathering of shellfish by hand within the Seagrass Protection Areas. Detailed and up to date information about these bylaws can be found here on the Southern IFCA website.
Oyster Dredge

Fishing boat
Seagrass Protection Zones
Langstone Harbour Board, Ferry Road, Hayling Island, Hampshire, PO11 0DG Tel: (023) 9246 3419
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