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Countryside Council for Wales
Landscape & wildlife Please note - A new body, Natural Resources Wales has taken over all functions and services previously carried out by Countryside Council for Wales. While the Natural Resources Wales website continues to be developed, some online services will continue to be provided on this web site.

Protected species - fish

Some fish receive the same protection as mammals under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Habitats Regulations 1994. Others receive added, special protection.

Further laws cover game fish - such as salmon, sea trout, trout and greyling - and coarse fish.


These are offences under these laws:

  • Theft of these fish.
  • Removing game fish from stocked waters.

Other offences – such as poaching - are identified in both the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act and The Salmon Act and the Theft Act. 


Where a licence authorising an activity has been granted by the Countryside Council for Wales or the National Assembly for Wales, the activity can be carried out legally as long as the conditions of the licence are followed.  Protected fish can in certain circumstances be killed, taken, or disturbed under the authority of a licence.

A licence should always be sought to carry out activities affecting protected species. Licences can be issued for specific purposes including scientific study, photography, conservation management and preventing damage to crops and property.

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Postal address
The habitats and species team
C/O Enquiries
LL57 2DW
Telephone number
0845 1306229
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