Legislation, Policy and Enforcement

The Fisheries Act 2012 enables the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) to produce regulations, which come into effect once signed by the department’s Minister. This may happen in advance of the regulation being laid before Tynwald.

Signed regulations will be made available here for your reference, for both recreational and commercial fishing. Regulation can also be found on the Tynwald website.

Regulation and policy documents are available to download on this page.


DEFA believes in firm and fair regulation of the matters for which it has responsibility and its principles of enforcement are set out in the Fisheries Enforcement Policy.

Under the Fisheries Act 2012, the Fisheries Division has a statutory duty for the ‘supervision and protection of inland and sea fisheries’ and for ‘fostering the establishment and development of such fisheries’. The DEFA Fisheries Enforcement Policy sets out the approach that the Fisheries Division will take in order to achieve compliance with the Act and related secondary legislation in order to conserve the marine and freshwater fish, and shellfish populations of the Isle of Man.

New Policy Information

From 6 August 2021 DEFA will implement its new policy regarding unused authorisations ('latency') in the crab and lobster fishery. The policy has been developed in line with powers under the Fisheries Act 2012, which enable DEFA to vary an Isle of Man Sea Fishing Licence if it appears to be necessary or expedient for the regulation of sea fishing. Details can be found in the Crab and Lobster Latency document in the downloadable documents section.

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