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Fisheries Division


Who we are and what we do

The Fisheries Division of the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) undertakes to manage and protect fisheries and their supporting ecosystems within the Island and its territorial sea.

Licencing and enforcement are key to the management and protection of our fisheries. Monitoring of fishery stock levels and scientific-data assist our efforts; we also work with the fishing industry, anglers, wildlife and marine conservation groups and other stakeholders.

For information on the Coronavirus Fisheries Industry Support Scheme click here.

Please click the relevant button(s) below to visit our webpages.

button_Vessel licencing    button_Commercial fishing

Button _Recreational Fishing    button_Fish buyers and sellers

button_Legislation policy enforcement    button_Hobby crab and lobster potting

Button _Marine Conservation    button_Fisheries science

IOM and UK licence condition affecting 10m & under vessels: digital catch recording.

Category A (10m and under) Isle of Man Sea Fishing licences have been varied to introduce a digital catch recording system for this sector of the fleet with effect from 25th March 2020.

All affected vessels have been contacted by the Department with information on how to use this new system.

Please be aware that the requirement to submit NESTFORMS and Monthly Shellfish Returns is still in place and these should be submitted alongside the new electronic catch recording.

Digital Assistance:

Within your registration details there is an option to contact the UK Call Centre with any reporting issues, as an Isle of Man registered vessel you should contact DEFA Fisheries Division on 01624 685837 to ask for assistance or report any problems with the catch recording service. This service is only available during normal office hours, outside these hours you can email
Please note that the fishing restriction in the Douglas bank area of Manx waters remains in place through the Isle of Man's domestic Sea-Fisheries (Technical Measures) Bye-Laws 2000, Part III (Restrictions on fishing for Herring), Section 18 (1) - Subject to paragraph (2), no person shall retain on board herring which are caught from 21 September to 15 November within that part of the territorial sea lying within that part of ICES Division VIIa bounded by the following co-ordinates:
  • The East coast of the Island at Latitude 54˚ 20'N
  • Latitude 54˚ 20'N, Longitude 003˚ 40'W
  • Latitude 53˚ 50'N, Longitude 003˚ 50'W
  • Latitude 53˚ 50'N, Longitude 004˚ 50'W
  • The south-west coast of the Island at longitude 004˚ 50'W



The UK has left the EU.

There will now be a transition period until 31 December 2020 while the EU and UK negotiate new arrangements. During the transition period existing rules and arrangements will remain in place for people and business in the Isle of Man. Until 31 December 2020 businesses that export fish or fishery products to the EU, or fishermen that land their catch directly into EU ports, can continue to trade with the EU as they do now. 

The Isle of Man’s relationship with the EU after the transition period will be dependent on the agreement on the future relationship reached between the UK and the EU.

Use the information below to find out what actions that you and your business can take now to prepare for the end of the transition period and the future relationship.

(The information on these webpages will be continually updated throughout the transition period.)

Owners of Isle of Man registered commercial fishing vessels are reminded that under European Commission (EC) contingency proposals to enable it to grant fishing vessels access to European Union (EU) waters in certain circumstances after Brexit, Manx vessels will be required to be registered with the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

As the IMO number is required should any Isle of Man vessels wish to land into EU ports, it is asked that owners inform the Department of their IOM number once registered, which can be done by emailing or calling the Fisheries section on 01624 685857.

More information about the requirement for IMO numbers and how to apply to register for a number is available on the website.

Information for Isle of Man Vessel Owners in the event of a no deal Brexit – If you intend to make a direct landing into an EU country

Isle of Man Buyer and Sellers: If you currently export fish to the EU, you'll need to use the new digital services to create catch certificates and other export documents. Register today to prepare for a no deal Brexit.

Give prior notification to land fish in the EU. In a no-deal Brexit, you’ll need to give prior notification before you land fish directly from your UK flagged vessel in an EU designated port.

The UK have produced guidance on Exporting and importing fish if there’s no Brexit deal.

The UK government have prepared guidance for business to prepare for EU exit.

The Department for Enterprise has issued a checklist for businesses in preparation for the outcome of Brexit negotiations next year. has compiled a guide for the UK seafood industry on preparing your business for EU exit

The UK have produced guidance on exporting animals, animal products, fish and fishery products to the EU after EU Exit.

MMO Press Release: Fishermen urged to be Brexit ready by registering with the IMO

The Isle of Man Government has launched an online Brexit checklist for Isle of Man food manufacturers

UKFAs prepare licensing for commercial fishing in non-UK waters after Brexit
A licensing authority has been set up to ensure UK licenced fishermen have the correct licences to fish legally in line with any negotiated agreements, in non-UK waters.

EU Exit and the Transition Period

Moving goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol

Moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021

The following information relating to the future arrangements between the EU and the UK has been supplied by the EU-UK Fisheries Negotiations team within the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.


How will the UK continue to maintain the sustainable management of shared stocks?

The UK has long championed sustainable fishing and our plans are to set a gold standard for sustainable fishing around the world. We are committed to working closely with our partners including the EU, Norway and Faroe Islands to manage shared stocks in a sustainable way and share fishing opportunities on a fair and scientific basis.

What does leaving the EU mean for fisheries?

We automatically take back control of our waters, and others’ right to fish in them, at the end of 2020.  We will be leaving the Common Fisheries Policy and will be an independent coastal State. This is the automatic position under the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and does not have to be negotiated. For the first time in 40 years, we will be free to decide who can access our waters and on what terms. Any access by non-UK vessels to fish in UK waters will be a matter for negotiation.

What agreement is the UK seeking?

We will be taking back control of our waters, and others’ right to fish in them after Brexit. Any agreement we may have will have to reflect these basic facts. The UK and EU have committed to use best endeavours to agree a new fisheries agreement by 1 July 2020. In line with the practice of other independent coastal States, the agreement would provide a framework for annual negotiations on access and quota and set out a mechanism for cooperation on fisheries matters where we share an interest with the EU.

Is the UK Government committed to securing more fishing quota for the UK fishing industry?

Yes. The UK will be an independent coastal State. We will leave the Common Fisheries Policy and will no longer be bound by the EU’s outdated and unfair method for sharing fishing opportunities. The UK will move to a fairer and more scientific method for determining future shares which better reflects where fish live.

Will EU vessels continue to have access to fish in UK waters?

As set out in the Withdrawal Agreement, during the transition period, we have agreed that we will continue to apply current fisheries rules and shared access to waters will continue until the end of 2020. From 2021, any decisions about giving access to our waters for vessels from the EU, or any other coastal states including Norway, will then be a matter for negotiation.

Environment Directorate

Fisheries Division

Department of Environment Food and Agriculture

Thie Slieau Whallian

Foxdale Road

St John's


Telephone:+44 1624 685857

Email:Send Email

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