MMO Guidance on the protection of sharks, skates and rays
By the Marine Management Organisation
We have produced guidance for commercial and recreational fishermen who may catch shark, skate and ray species (collectively known as elasmobranchs), and markets, merchants or any premises who may handle these species. It provides details of what you can and cannot lawfully do with certain species that are protected by EU fisheries legislation, national, EU and international wildlife legislation and agreements.
This guidance applies in England and Wales for wildlife legislation, the relevant International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) areas specified in EU fisheries legislation, and for those fishing in international waters it applies in the relevant regional fishery management areas. You should consult the appropriate authorities for details of what provisions apply in their waters in relation to these species where we are not the relevant fisheries or wildlife authority.
How restrictions and prohibitions apply to the individual, will vary depending on the species, specific situation or vessel involved, so please seek further clarification from your local MMO office if you are unsure as to what applies to you.
Some of the specifics contained here may change on a yearly basis with changes in legislation, so please ensure you use the most recent guidance available, and check with your local Marine Management Organisation (MMO) office if you are unsure if any changes have been made that may affect you.
Guidance on the protection of sharks, skates and rays (PDF 310 KB)