Minimum sizes for salt water species

Some species have restrictions on the size of fish you can keep. This is to ensure that the fish reaches spawning size, hereby safeguarding the reproductive capacity of the stock. If you catch a fish that is below minimum size requirements, please release it to its natural habitat in the manner that causes the least harm to the fish.

If you catch a fish which is smaller than the minimum size, you must wet your hands with sea water and carefully free the fish from the fishing tackle then release it back to sea. If the fish is dead or not capable of surviving, you can keep it to eat. In order to avoid catching a number of fish under the minimum size, you can for example move to a new fishing area or try using larger fish hooks.

  • The length of the fish is measured from the tip of the snout to the end of the outermost rays of the groove. 
  • Lobster and crayfish is measured from the tip of the forehead horn to the rear edge of the middle swim tab. 
  • Shrimps is measured from the front of the eye to the rear edge of the tail. 
  • Crab is measured over the largest width of the shell. 
  • Iceland scallop is measured as the longest length from the shell hinge to the opposite shell edge. 
  • Large scallop is measured over the longest length of the shell. 
  • King crab is measured from the inner end of the eye cavity to the back of the back of the back of the back.

Complete table of minimum sizes

Species                      

Minimum size

Minimum size 

North of 62°N

South of 62°N

cod

44 cm

40 cm

halibut

80 cm

80 cm

redfish

32 cm

32 cm

wolffish

no minimum size

no minimum size

saithe

no minimum size

no minimum size

haddock

40 cm

31 cm

whiting

32 cm

32 cm

hake

30 cm

30 cm

mare flounder

28 cm

28 cm

dab

23 cm

23 cm

lemon sole

25 cm

25 cm

sole

24 cm

24 cm

turbot

30 cm

30 cm

brill

30 cm

30 cm

megrim

25 cm

25 cm

European flounder

20 cm

20 cm

European eel

40 cm

40 cm

silver eel

37 cm

37 cm

dogfish

70 cm

70 cm

Greenland halibut

45 cm

45 cm

mackerell

no minimum size

no minimum size

North Sea herring

no minimum size

20 cm

Norwegian spring-spawning herring

25 cm

25 cm

herring (Trondheimsfjorden)

23 cm

23 cm

capelin

11 cm

no minimum size

wrasse (except ballan wrasse and corkwing wrasse)

11 cm

11 cm

corkwing wrasse

12 cm

12 cm

ballan wrasse

14 cm

14 cm

sandeel

10 cm

10 cm

sprat

10 cm

10 cm

bluefin tuna

115 cm and
30 kilograms

115 cm and
30 kilograms

snow crab

10 cm

10 cm

silver smelt

27 cm

27 cm

shrimp

6 cm

6,5 cm

Norway lobster

13 cm

13 cm

European lobster

25 cm

25 cm

Iceland scallop

6,5 cm
(in Nordland, Troms and Finnmark)

no minimum size

great scallop

10 cm

10 cm

 

North of Rogaland

From the Swedish border to and including the region of Rogaland.

edible crab

13 cm

11 cm

 

In Skagerrak

Skagerrak is delimited to the west by a straight line through Lindesnes lighthouse and Hanstholmen lighthouse, and to the south by a straight line through Skagen lighthouse and Tistlarna lighthouse.

Outside Skagerrak

plaice

27 cm

29 cm

herring

18 cm

no minmum size

 

East of 26°E

West of 26°E

red king crab

13 cm

13 cm

Film on minimum sizes for salt water fish

Updated: 30.01.2019