Sark’s controlled fishing limit is being extended to 12 miles, which will enable the whole of the Bailiwick of Guernsey (Guernsey, Alderney and Sark) to manage its fishery to a much greater extent than the previous three mile limit. Sark’s three mile limit is controlled by Sark and within that limit its fishery legislation has achieved both sides of the sustainability coin – it safeguards fish stocks and safeguards the livelihoods of Sark fishermen.
Only licensed fishermen can catch fish on a commercial basis. All fish caught within the Bailiwick can only be retained if they meet or exceed the minimum size limits.
Lobster and Crab
Lobster and crab can only be caught between 21st March and 20th October allowing the inshore stocks to replenish during the winter close-season. Gear restrictions prevent the use of pots that can retain the catch more than a few days and these restrictions help to maintain the fish stocks for local fishermen.
Scallops inside Sark’s three mile limit can only be dived for within the dates of 21st March and 20th October. Divers have to apply for a scallop licence, the numbers of which are tightly controlled by Sark. Those diving for scallops commercially can only dive from a licensed boat and all scallops can only be sold on Sark. This ensures that scallop stocks are always at a healthy level and protects the seabed by maintaining a complete exclusion of dredgers within the three miles.
Virtually all of the fish served in our hotels is from Sark waters and much is rod and line caught – particularly the bass and pollack. The beauty of Sark is that there is no intensive or industrial fishing and the topography of her seabed is not conducive to such methods. Trawling is banned within Sark’s bays during the summer months. No fish, other than scallops, are allowed to be caught by divers.
Sark Island Hotels' initiatives
Until an acceptable and economic method of controlling the catching of berried lobster is found our hotels will continue with their policy of not taking berried lobster.
Crayfish (crawfish) are found in Sark waters - their numbers have declined in recent years, so until their status is more clearly defined our hotels will not accept crayfish.
Any fish that gives cause for suspicion will not be accepted by our chefs. They are also familiar with Sark’s regulations, size limits and dates. Our hotels source their fish from Sark fishermen, usually one or two fishermen supplying each of the hotels.