Environmental management – guidance

Permission to move live fish to or from a fishery

Get consent to introduce (site permit) or remove fish (excluding fish farms): application forms and rules.

The Environment Agency (EA) regulates the movement of all fish, fry and ova to and from fisheries (rivers, canals, drains and stillwaters).

It’s against the law to do the following without permit or authorisation:

  • introduce any fish or fish spawn into a fishery
  • remove fish from a fishery (unless using a rod and line, when different rules apply)
  • be in possession of any fish or fish spawn intended for introduction to a fishery

You may also have to get a fish health check if you want to stock fish in rivers, canals and lakes connected to open waters.

Different rules apply to fish farms.

If you introduce fish without consent you may be prosecuted and fined up to £50,000

Get a permit to introduce fish to a fishery or keep certain non-native fish

You must get written consent (known as a site permit) before you introduce fish into your fishery.

To apply for a site permit please contact the EA fish movements team.

You will need:

  • your fishery’s registration number
  • to be the responsible person for the fishery
  • a list of the fish species you are looking to keep or want to introduce
  • an additional Supplier Permit if you move or supply fish.

Permits are permanent and are free. You can get advice from EA before you apply.

Get a permit to move or supply fish

If you supply fish or move fish between sites you will need to hold a Supplier Permit.

This does not apply to movements between fish farms or garden ponds.

To apply for a site permit please contact the EA fish movements team.

Get authorisation to use fishing instruments like nets and traps

You must get written consent to use fishing instruments like nets and traps (different rules apply for rod and line).

Application to use fishing instruments (PDF, 541KB, 2 pages)

You can get advice from EA before you apply.

Authorisation is free.

Before getting a site permit

Before getting a site permit you may need to:

  • register your fishery
  • get a fish health check

Register your fishery

Fisheries must be registered with the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI).

Application to register a fishery or cropping water

Rivers and canals don’t need to be registered.

Get a fish health check

You may also have to get a fish health check if you want to stock fish in rivers, canals and lakes connected to open waters.

Consent usually takes up to 10 working days, but may take up to 20.

It may take longer if:

Contact

Environment Agency fish movements team

Email: fmapplications@environment-agency.gov.uk

Telephone: 0208 474 5243

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm