The Sea Fisheries (Amendment) Regulations 2023


 13 March 2023


Lesley Griffiths MS, Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd



The Sea Fisheries (Amendment) Regulations 2023 (“the 2023 Regulations”)


Members of the Senedd will wish to be aware I have given consent to the Secretary of State for DEFRA exercising a concurrent subordinate legislation-making power in a devolved area in relation to Wales.


Agreement was sought on 11 January 2023 by Lord Benyon, Minister for Biosecurity, Marine and Rural Affairs to make a Statutory Instrument titled the Sea Fisheries (Amendment) Regulations 2023. The 2023 Regulations apply in relation to Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


The 2023 Regulations have been made by the Secretary of State in exercise of powers conferred by section 36(1)(b) and (c) of the Fisheries Act 2020.


The 2023 Regulations amend retained EU legislation Council Regulation (EU) 2020/123 (EUR/2020/123) in respect of the regulation of Seabass fisheries, increasing the allowable bycatch in line with scientific advice, as well as aligning the closed season for both commercial and recreational fishers. Picked dogfish (spurdog) under or equal to 100cm is removed from the prohibited species list contained in Article 16 of Council Regulation (EU) 2020/123 (EUR 2020/123) to implement the outcome of the 2022 EU-UK Fisheries Consultation for fishing opportunities in 2023. Further, to implement measures agreed at the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Convention Area, the prohibited species list contained in Article 16 is amended to add shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) in United Kingdom and international waters of the ICCAT area.




Consent was granted as these Regulations provides for the outcome of international negotiations, undertaken collaboratively between the fisheries administrations, and discharges international obligations of the UK in relation to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and the UKs membership of ICCAT. Further, the measures related to seabass apply to a shared fishery which operates within and beyond the Welsh zone. In order for them to be effective, they need to apply on a UK basis and apply to all vessels operating in UK waters. 


The 2023 Regulations were laid before Parliament 08/03/2023 and will come into force on 01/04/2023.