2018 Update – Minimum Landing Sizes (MLS) and protection status for common UK Marine fish

Adrian Crawford
  · Adrian Crawford  · March 16, 2018

We have updated the MLS page to reflect the new Bass rules for 2018.


The dust has now settled over the new Minimum Landing Size (MLS.) for Bass so we thought it might be interesting to test your knowledge of the MLS. and protection status of some of our most common UK Marine fish. No cheating this is not a test of your Googling skills we genuinely want to see how knowledgeable you all are!

As a bonus everyone who finishes the Quiz will get priority access to our new MLS reference  page where you can see all the size restrictions we know of!

The quiz is now over – results will be posted soon

See our new MLS page here

Fishing Tails > All Articles > Reports > 2018 Update – Minimum Landing Sizes (MLS) and protection status for common UK Marine fish


23 Responses to "2018 Update – Minimum Landing Sizes (MLS) and protection status for common UK Marine fish"
  1. Avatar John Schmidt says:

    Hello Sean, I completed your quiz (80% – I’m a bit ashamed of that). Good idea to correlate data of what people know – a lot of fisherman either don’t know (or in some instances) don’t care about size limits or even identification of their catch. (Look on facebook any day of the week and you’ll find a picture of something that has been dispatched and is now on a kitchen table with the question “what is it?”. Only thing I’d like to see added to the quiz is the equivalent size in inches. Many thanks,

    • At 80% you are well above the average so no need to be ashamed of that. We will be publishing the results next week and if it continues the way its going there will be some interesting surprises! Until I get round to converting the centimetres to inches, here is a tip . to quickly convert cm to inches in your head divide by 5 then multiply by 2.

  2. Avatar Tim and Tanya Cordy says:

    Well a bit shocking! The question is how to educate and inform anglers. We told a chap the other day his bass was too small while it was still alive. He just let it die and kept it at 37cm.

  3. Avatar John West says:

    Very interesting. I got all correct except mackerel, which is species I catch the most of !

  4. Avatar Richard lake says:

    I fish a lot & did know the bass one.. I got 80% just working out what I thought was an ok size.. I got the shad wrong but I normally catch & release anything I wouldn’t eat or I’m not sure of..

  5. Avatar gordon says:

    80%, mackerel msl fail,

  6. Avatar Martyn white says:

    3 out of 5 correct. This quiz has opened my eyes because i got the question about mackerel completely wrong.

  7. Avatar Patrick says:

    5/5 correct, the mackerel one is confusing as sizes for the south is different from East Anglia, where I’m from.

  8. Avatar Fraser says:

    A quote from the Angling Trust…..Our interpretation of the current minimum landing sizes set by the EU is that they only apply to motorised vessels holding a commercial fishing license and not to recreational catches. However, a number of countries rigorously apply the EU MLSs to both commercial as well as recreational fisheries (some countries even have set MLSs for recreational fishing above the EU MLSs, while their commercial fisheries follow the EU MLSs, e.g. the French bass fisheries).
    The angling Trust encourages all anglers to Give Fish A chance and apply voluntary minimum retention sizes which exceed the EU’s and allow all fish retained the chance to have bred at least once. http://www.anglingtrust.net

  9. Avatar roger says:

    Hi, some one should tell Morissons what the legal sizes are .

    Well I have ! but they dont care about selling plaice at 24cm……


  10. Avatar matt benjamin says:

    –NO … if commercial bass fishing continues then I hope every angler continues to take bass for the table…they certainly aren’t responsible for the decline in numbers. its very simple-stop commercial bass fishing or are the authorities too stupid or too bent to understand. obvs you wont print this cos we know where your sympathies lie.

    • I think regardless how unfair the angling ban seems we should respect it and put all catches back, it seems like a small thing to do to help protect our bass.

      When it comes to commercial fishing it’s difficult to know where to begin, sure banning fishing in the spawning grounds is a good move but beyond that I’m not going to speculate where we go next,it’s an incredibly complex arena not helped by the added complexities that Brexit introduces.

      • Avatar Matt Benjamin says:

        If we want to protect OUR Bass then why on earth would we allow anyone to take 120 kg a month??- (5 tonnes a year) go on read that figure back…what would you suggest could possibly justify that? why not 10 kg or 20?..
        120 kg A MONTH!!! how many kg of Bass did you catch in all of last year? 5 or 10 prob not even that. The arguments regarding how much money angling brings into local economies like ours as opposed the commercial fishing are well known…it is both more financially beneficial and utterly sustainable. The really maddening thing about commercial fishermen is the sense of entitlement they seem to feel…if commercial bass fishing is no longer viable (i.e sustainable) then, like whaling or tiger hunting then its time to find a different job. I feel we as free citizens should have the right to feed ourselves and families from the sea- NOT make a quick buck…if the stocks are dwindling then there is one reason- COMMERCIAL EXPLOITATION AND OVERFISHING by greedy mercenary people…And i’m including the whole stinking “foodie” culture as well. I’m fed up picking my way through the increasing number of lobster pots and gill nets when out in my kayak and I could name so many pubs /restauraunts along our coast who are eager to buy bass from anglers ILLEGALY. The problem is greed and the immoral facilitation of greed.
        Here’s to a great Bass season -“tight lines”

  11. Avatar billysugger says:

    as always, corrupt and spineless ministers cosy up to commercial fishing, then pass the buck onto recreational fishers.
    I caught less than 2 kg of Bass last year, the first being 46cm, weighting just about 2lb. the second was undersize and promptly returned, both caught during the same outing. the only other outing produced 5 Mackeral all over 30cm caught in a single cast. I do not accept recreational fishers are in any way responsible for depleted stocks.
    while the vermin allows the commercials to continue with quota to take up to 5 tonnes, we sport fishers should retain a few for our own table. no instrument that is unjust, can be enforceable. we should rip their heads off and spit down their windpipe!
    tight lines and enjoy a goodly “bass” supper.

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