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If you own, master or charter a fishing vessel, you will need a fishing vessel licence.

First published:
1 October 2021
Last updated:

What is a fishing vessel licence

A fishing vessel licence specifies the conditions that a vessel owner/master/charterer must follow when fishing. It authorises:

  • the sea areas in which a vessel can operate
  • the species of fish that can be targeted and retained aboard

It enables UK Fisheries Administrations to regulate fishing.

We issue fishing vessel licences, on behalf of Welsh Ministers. The licences are issued to vessels registered in Welsh ports.

Licences are split into length category: 

  • vessels under 10m
  • vessels over 10m

Within the length groups there are different categories of licence. These specify which stocks of fish you can catch.

Variations to your licence

Licence variations reflect changes during the lifetime of a licence, in:

  • quota limits, and
  • closures or openings of sea areas for the various fisheries

Fishing vessel licences: variations details the current Welsh licence variations.