The activity of Recreational Sea Fishing is regulated by a series of rules that mainly regulate the classes, tools and tackle, closed fishing periods and areas, authorised species and maximum catch limits.

It is important to know all the regulations in order to avoid sanctions.


In recreational fishing the amount of fish and shellfish that a person can catch per day is regulated. This ensures the quantity of fish for future years and respects professional fishing, as in the recreational activity it is forbidden to sell the fish.

  • First Class Licence: The maximum catch of large pelagic species (tuna, marlin) is three fish per person per day, not exceeding a maximum of 100 kg per vessel or one fish weighing more than 100 kg.
  • Second Class Licence: Maximum fishing of 5 kg per person per day in external and internal waters.
  • Third Class Licence: Maximum 4 kg per person per day in external waters from shore or 16 kg from the, even if there are more than four people on the boat. In inland waters 5 kg per person per day.

Shellfishing. The maximum of the 2nd and 3rd class is applied, the activity of fishing and shellfishing being possible on the same day, but not exceeding the weight in the sum of both catches.


In recreational fishing some species are subject to differentiated protection measures and a "fishing authorisation for species under differentiated protection" must be requested for their catch: Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus), Albacore (Thunnus alalunga), Bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus), Swordfish(Xiphias gladius), Billfish (Makaira spp.), marlin (Tetrapturus spp.), Mediterranean marlin, Atlantic white marlin, Atlantic white marlin, marlin, wahoo, sailfish (Istiophorus albicans), hake (Merluccius merluccius), blackspot seabream (Pagellus bogaraveo).

In the Canary Islands it is forbidden to catch these species: (click here).

The fishing of species from this list is forbidden. list.

Many species have a minimum catch size click here.

It is strictly forbidden to capture or keep any animal under special protection or in danger of extinction, such as turtles, cetaceans and birds. A website to consult is centinela.

Shellfishing on foot is only allowed on weekends and public holidays, except for bait fishing for fishing vieja fish, which can be done every day of the week. The closed seasons for each species must always be respected.


When shore fishing, a minimum distance of 150 metres from marked bathing areas and divers and 3 metres from other shore fishermen must be maintained.

When spearfishing, a minimum distance of 150 metres from bathing areas or crowded areas and from other fishermen, 926 metres from boats and 70 metres from divers and fishing gear must be maintained. Fishing in harbours is prohibited. This type of fishing is only allowed in the areas indicated on the map, please note that in the areas in red you can only fish on weekends and holidays.

When fishing from boats, a minimum distance of 250 metres from bathing areas, 926 metres (half a mile) from professional fishing vessels operating and 70 metres from marked fishing gear and divers must be maintained.

200 metres minimum distance to aquaculture facilities must be respected.


In boat fishing:

The use of electric reels is restricted to 2 per boat with a maximum power of 1 kW per reel.
The use of more than one jig per boat is prohibited.
No poisons, electric stunners or attractant lights may be used.
Whole fish, dead or alive, carcasses, substances or fluids containing blood or toxic products may not be discharged into the sea for fattening of the fish.
The maximum per person is 2 electric reels.

In spearfishing:

It is forbidden to have a loaded gun out of the water.
No use of gas or electrically propelled or explosive-tipped rifles.
It is compulsory to have a buoy.
No attractant lights, poison or electrical charges may be used as a stunner.
A hand-held torch is permitted.
The use of autonomous or semi-autonomous diving equipment as well as propelled equipment is prohibited.

In shore fishing:

A maximum of two rods and 3 hooks per rod may be used.
No poisons or electrical charges may be used as a stunner, nor attractant lights.
No whole fish, dead or alive, carcasses, substances or fluids, containing blood or toxic products, may be discharged into the sea for fattening.


Trawling and the keeping on board of any gear, tackle or fishing gear other than those permitted is prohibited.

Any kind of pollution of the environment or damage to protected species is prohibited.

The use or possession of poisonous, narcotic, explosive or polluting substances.