Minimum sizes for salt water species

Everyone who fishes in the sea in Norway must follow the rules on minimum size. The goal is for more small fish to live until they are big enough to reproduce.


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.

Note that tourists is only allowed to use handheld tackle. Species that you can only catch legally with other gear than handheld tackle are prohibited to fish.

If you catch a fish that 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.

Different ways to measure fish and other seafoods

  • 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

Complete table of minimum sizes, only available in Norwegian (