Statutory guidance

Pelagic landing obligation 2016: Guidance

Which fish come under the landing obligation, what you have to do with them on board and which you can sell for human consumption.



The landing obligation, also called the discard ban, means that you have to land all the fish that you catch if they:

  • are pelagic quota species, including blue whiting, boarfish, herring, horse mackerel, mackerel, Norway pout, sandeel and sprat
  • include by-catch of quota species, such as cod and whiting
  • include any quota fish that are below the minimum size

The landing obligation applies from 1 January 2016. It only applies to you if you target pelagic quota species. For all other fisheries, the landing obligation doesn’t apply to you, and you must follow the current rules.

Published 5 June 2015
Last updated 31 January 2017 + show all updates
  1. Fish which must be landed section updated
  2. Text added: Sea bass is now defined as a demersal species and the introduction of catch limits for this species means that it is subject to the landing obligation when caught in pelagic fisheries
  3. First published.