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Protected fish species - licensing

Some species of fish are protected by law in Scotland because they are rare or are vulnerable to certain activities. The sturgeon is only a rare visitor to Scotland, but it is protected as a European protected species. Basking sharks are listed on Schedule 5  PDF document of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and are protected against intentional or reckless disturbance or harassment.

The river lamprey, Atlantic salmon, allis and twaite shad, vendace and powan are listed on Schedule 3  PDF document   of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended) which make it an offence to use certain methods to catch or take them in freshwater.

Allis and twaite shad, vendace and powan are also listed on Schedule 5  PDF document of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). Vendace and powan are given full protection under this schedule, which means that it is an offence to intentionally or recklessly kill, injure or take them as well as to possess or sell them. Allis and twaite shad are only protected against killing, injuring or taking.

Licences for surveys, conservation, research or education

If you wish to carry out work on any protected fish species for survey, conservation, science, research or educational purposes, and if that work might otherwise result in an offence being committed, you may need a licence.    Please contact with the following information:

  • your name, address, telephone number;
  • full details of your project/proposal including what you want to do, who will be doing it, where you want to do it and when you want to do it;
  • completed reference forms  Word document (if this is the first time you have applied for a licence for this activity we will require two references from people who are familiar with your work in this area and who can vouch for your competence in carrying out this type of work).

Guidance note for field surveys and monitoring  PDF document

Accompanying notes for survey and monitoring licences  PDF document

Licensing for other purposes

If you wish to apply for a licence for any other purpose in relation to protected fish species or for further advice please contact or telephone 01463 725364.

Licence returns

It is a condition of each licence that a return is submitted. Please refer to your licence for the relevant return information required and send to clearly stating your name and licence number in the subject.

Renewals and amendments

If you hold a licence which you wish to renew or you wish to amend your licence you can:

  • telephone 01463 725364 (please make sure you have your licence number to hand); or
  • email putting your licence number in the subject.

For further information or advice please contact or telephone 01463 725364.

Last updated on Friday 18th March 2016 at 14:44 PM. Click here to comment on this page