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If you sell first sale fish by competitive bidding at a designated auction site in Scotland you must be registered with Marine Scotland.

‘First sale fish’ means fish that is being sold for the first time, but does not include farmed fish.

If you buy first sale fish direct from a licensed fishing vessel or agent (ie other than by competitive bidding from a registered seller at a designated auction site) you must also be registered with Marine Scotland.


A ‘designated auction site’ is a site which has been registered with a Fisheries Department (Marine Scotland in Scotland) to market first sale fish. You must only sell fish at designated sites and on the days and times specified in the registration. You should also approach site operators for information on local port rules or other by-laws that apply in their premises.

Registered fish sellers and buyers must complete and submit a sales note for each sale within 48 hours of the sale. Details of the information to be included in a sales note and the fishery office to which it must be submitted can be found on the Scottish Government’s website.

You must also keep detailed records of each sale or purchase of first sale fish for at least two years and allow inspectors access to these on request.

You must not market or buy first sale fish that was landed by an unlicensed fishing vessel.

How to apply

To become registered as a buyer or seller you must send a completed application form to Marine Scotland’s Sea Fisheries Division, providing details of your business and area of operation. Registration is free.

Marine Scotland will usually provide you with written notification of the outcome of your application within 15 working days. If your registration is approved this will contain a unique registration number and conditions to which the registration is subject.

You will be required to return a signed copy of the notification to confirm that you accept the conditions of registration.

Fines and penalties

If you deal in first sale fish without being registered, buy or market fish from an unlicensed vessel or fail to comply with any conditions of registration, you are committing an offence and may be faced with an unlimited fine. Your registration may also be suspended or revoked and you may be disqualified from applying for a period of time in future.