Spain nation wide fishing rules & regulations (also applies to Balearic & Canary Islands)

Spanish fishing rules are similar all across the nation and are made to preserve wildlife and keep the environment clean. That’s why there is a limit of how much fish one can catch, minimum sizes, etc.

The licence gives the right to capture marine wild life and to take advantage of the wealth of the sea. Although the resources of the sea seem inexhaustible, they are vulnerable and must be conserved. The maintenance of fish populations and the survival of fishing activity depend on the efforts that we all make to conserve the marine environment. Consequently, for there to be fishing for many years, it is important that your behavior is responsible and respectful of current fishing regulations. Here are some points of this regulation. See also the minimum size requirements.

It is expressly prohibited:

  • To sell the catch obtained;
  • To catch and keep more than 5 kg per day (between fish and shellfish);
  • To fish using professional fishing methods (e.g. using nets & traps);
  • To use live fish as bait in marine reserves;
  • To fish for prohibited species or to fish in prohibited or closed areas or closed seasons;
  • To use or have available any poisonous, narcotic, explosive or polluting substance;
  • To use or have available any means of attraction devices (e.g. attracting fish with light devices) or to throw fish in the water for the purpose of attracting larger fish species;
  • To obstruct or interfere in any way with professional fishing. A minimum distance of 250 meters must be respected to any marked professional rigging or gear;
  • To fish in the access channels to ports, inside the port facilities or within 100 meters of places frequented by people who are swimming or diving. You should always distance yourself from swimmers/divers at least 100-150 meters. For the Balearic Islands it is 100 meters and for Canary Islands it is 150 meters;
  • To fish from the beaches on the Balearic Islands between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., during the spring and summer season (from May 1st until September 30th). On the Canary Islands you are not allowed to fish from the beaches at all.

It should also be noted that:

  • Outside the marine reserves, the authorized gear is the rod (with or without a reel) and the kite with a maximum of 6 hooks. The use of all sorts of nets and fish traps require special authorization;
  • Outside the marine reserves, the license gives the right to use a maximum of 2 rods or lines using 3 hooks on each (a treble hook counts as three hooks) and you can only use one artificial bait per rod;
  • In marine reserves, the maximum protection areas where fishing is prohibited must be respected and the rest of the specific regulations must be complied with. Further details concerning there areas and their regulations is available in the Recreational Fishing Guide. The guide is available here (unfortunately only available in Spanish);
  • A maximum of 50 specimens of pearly razorfish or cleaver wrasse (Xyrichthys novacula) can be caught, per fisherman per day. For squid and cuttlefish, the maximum daily catch is 10 specimens up to a maximum of 5 kg;
  • For octopuses, the maximum daily catch is 3 specimens;
  • If a specimen is caught that does not meet the established minimum size, it must be returned to the sea, if possible alive. The possession of fish of smaller size than the regulation is prohibited and will be fined;
  • Scorpionfish, amberjack, San Pedro fish, Dentex, Groupers, Chernas, Pollock, Wart and Croaker should be marked immediately after capture, cutting the lower lobe of the caudal fin (tail). See marking instructions on the minimum sizes page or download the marking instructions here;
  • The closed periods and areas detailed in the Recreational Fishing Guide (unfortunately only available in Spanish) must be respected at all times;

Regulations concerning recreational fishing and minimum sizes will change from time to time. Since the permits we request for you come from the government of the Balearic Islands, the permit you receive will always contain the current rules and regulations for the Balearic Islands applicable at the time of issuing the permit. We advise you to always check what the applicable rules are at the moment you exercise your fishing rights in Spain or Canary Islands. Although the rules and regulations in the Spanish territory are very similar, there can still be small differences that you should take into account. Visit the website of the government of Spain, the Balearic Islands or the Canary Islands for the most recent information about regulations and the minimum sizes.