Fishing - wild wrasse: application for a letter of derogation

Application for a letter of derogation to fish for wild wrasse.

Eligibility and application procedure


Marine Scotland will introduce new mandatory controls over the harvesting of wild wrasse. The decision reflects the strong public support for mandatory management controls over the fishery which was expressed in the 2020 public consultation exercise.

Under a new general fishing licence condition, wrasse harvesting will be prohibited and only those vessel licence holders in possession of a Letter of Derogation (“LoD”) from Scottish Ministers will be able to commercially fish for wrasse in Scottish waters.


In order to be granted a Letter of Derogation, applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

(1) Hold a valid sea fishing licence as defined by regulation 2 of The Sea Fishing (Licences and Notices) (Scotland) Regulations 2011, SSI 2011, No 70;

(2) Have entered into and continue to be subject to a contract to supply wild wrasse to a person who carries on a business of fish farming and who is authorised as an aquaculture production business under The Aquatic Animal Health (Scotland) Regulations 2009 (“a salmon farm operator”) and, where requested by Marine Scotland to do so, supply a copy of such contract in order to evidence the same; and

(3) Have submitted and continue to submit the returns for catches of wild wrasse required in terms of the sea fishing licence referred at (1) above, from the later date of: (a) 11 March 2019 and (b) the date on which the applicant has first began or will begin to supply wild wrasse to a salmon farm operator in terms of the contract mentioned at (2), above.

(4) Comply at all times with all licence conditions noted in the Annex to any Letter of Derogation issued to them under this scheme.

Once granted a Letter of Derogation, applicants must continue to fulfil the above criteria on an ongoing basis. Failure to do so may result in the withdrawal of the Letter of Derogation and thus the ability to fish for wild wrasse.

If an applicant has previously breached any licence conditions noted in the annex to a Letter of Derogation previously issued to them under this scheme, the application may be considered at the discretion of Scottish Ministers.

Unsuccessful applicants

Where an application of a prospective participant for a LoD is unsuccessful, Marine Scotland reply by letter fully detailing the reasons why the application was unsuccessful. Unsuccessful applicants may appeal this decision by writing to and setting out the reasons why they believe they should have been granted a LoD.



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