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Fisheries Act: Angling and fishing are regulated by law

FAQ: Fisheries Act

What does the Fisheries Act deal with?

This law regulates how fish are handled and caught. The regulations are also relevant for fish spawn, crabs, pond and pearl mussels, among other things.

Why is fishing regulated?

To ensure that the stocks of some fish species do not decrease too much, restrictions, requirements and catch quotas apply. These are animal welfare measures.

What are the rules for anglers?

For these, the state fisheries regulations are of particular importance. You can find an overview here.

Is fishing regulated by law?

Fishing has belonged for centuries to people's lives. But environmental influences, climate change and overfishing arise increasingly as a problem dar. In Germany regulates the fishing law where, when and how much can be fished and for which animals there are exceptions. Who ever a fishing trip has made, knows that there is someone for this special permission requirement. Thus the law is also a important component of the environmental and also animal welfare.

Anglers and also professional fishermen are not allowed to simply looking for a place and catching fish. Either in Germany as well as internationally must adhere to certain regulations that are laid down in fishing law. In the Federal Republic is fishing by various state laws regulated.

What this and the state fisheries regulations mean which fishing laws are particularly important and what anglers or fishermen still have to pay attention to, the following guide takes a closer look at.

Fishing law at the federal level

The Fisheries law is part of fishing lawwhich both an area of ​​law represents (belongs to the agricultural-specific administrative law) as well the right to fish designated. Fisheries law deals with all legal norms that affect fisheries. Which includes in addition to commercial fishing that too ordinary fishing by a pond or river. The fishing law sets the respective regulations firmly.

The Fishing law is divided into two areas divided. On the one hand there is the sea fishing law, which through international agreements and laws is regulated. In addition, there are also the individual fishing laws of the states. The Sea fishing law is in Germany responsible for this area.

For another there it the area of ​​inland fisheries. This right is usually guaranteed by the individual laws and regulations of the federal states regulated. The German fishing law is beyond that too a country matter. That means that the federal states in addition to the federal regulations their own laws, ordinances and edicts Add.

For example the fishing law in Bavaria must also be regulated by an additional state ordinance, while in North Rhine-Westphalia the state fishing law of North Rhine-Westphalia takes precedence. Usually, however, have almost all countries have a state fisheries regulationthat regulates the implementation of the Fisheries Act.

What is in the Fisheries Act?

The fishing law defines how to deal with fish as well as catching this. Apply according to the law Fish and spawn, Lampreys, crabs, pond and pearl mussels and in some countries also fish food animals than animals that are under the fishing law will fall.

Next to the Right to practice fishing as well as the definition of the animals concerned, the Fisheries Act also deals with the different types of waters and the associated regulations. In addition, it is also determined which fish species may be caught at all and at what time of year this is allowed. The dimensions of the fish as well the observance of the closed season are particularly important in this context. Violations of these provisions are punished with fines or drag in certain cases also lead to criminal proceedings.

The Federal and state authorities (mostly the fisheries authorities) are allowed to use the cherish, catch and acquire these animals. This is also allowed for the owners of a body of water, as this is according to the fishing law holds the fishing rights. This is then called Property fishing designated. But the law can also be exercised by the authorities regardless of the property granted (independent fishing rights). In professional fishing it is quite common for several people to work for the same body of water or a section own the fishing rights.

According to the fisheries law, it is also possiblethat holder of a fishing right this lease or other people exercise it to let. In the latter case, a permit or water license must be issued.

The Owning the fishing rights or the existence of a permit from the owner of the right are important prerequisitesin order to be allowed to practice fishing in Germany. In addition, a valid state fishing license (also fishing license or fishing permit) are present.

Owner of such may be accompanied by the lessee or rights holder fish even without a permit. The number of these people depends on the state but limited without permission.

Fishing and youth fishing license

A state fishing license or a youth fishing license is commonly used by the respective federal states created after this check whether the prerequisites are met. The respective fishing law of the federal state defines which requirements must be observed for such a certificate.

Usually apply to the fishing license the following conditions:

  • only natural persons can receive it, it is not transferable
  • The period and range of validity are fixed and limited
  • The number of fish that can be caught per day is limited

The fishing license, usually the holder of the fishing rights, may apply for an issued fishing license change legal closed seasons and minimum dimensions. However, the dimension may only be changed beyond the stipulated statutory but not minimized. Environmental and animal protection as well as the regulations on animal rights play a role here.

The Fishing license must from the competent fisheries authority approved be. Depending on the federal state, the validity is one, five or ten years. In some cases such a semblance can be also for life be requested. An examination is usually also necessary in order to obtain the certificate.


The document in itself is for a fee at the state office or the municipal or city offices issued. At the same time, the Fishing tax levied and retained.

The Age limit for the youth fishing license is determined differently depending on the fisheries law of the federal state. Usually there is such a permit between the ages of 10 and 16 or 18 necessary to be able to practice fishing.

Also, whether it is an easy test or no test at all there is depending on the state regulated differently. The youth fishing license is also awarded by the competent authority issued. There are special regulations, for example, whether an accompanying person with a state fishing license has to be present or whether there is a restriction on the number of rods or the number of fish to be caught then again national regulations.

Who is responsible for compliance with the Fisheries Act?

Usually is the fisheries authority for enforcement and compliance of the applicable laws and regulations. At the federal level, it is Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, which is the supreme fisheries authority.

As the regulations to the fishing law and fishing law However, mostly taking place at the state level, there are also competent authorities there. Depending on the federal state, this can be different institutions be. For example, the highest fisheries authority in a federal state is this Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry or the Senator for Economics.


The district government, the forestry directorate or the state administrative offices can as a higher fisheries authority act, while for example the district administrations as well as the city and police offices as lower fisheries authority occur.

According to the fisheries law of the respective countries are the authorities for different areas of fisheries law. So must a fishing license at the lower fisheries authority be requested. The authority then also has the right a control of the people who carry out the fishery.

So it has to Holders of a fishing license Always carry the fishing license and the fishing permit (issued by the rights holder) with you when exercising and show on request can. According to a national fisheries law, a control can be carried out by the Police, the fishery supervisor, the fishing license (Holders of the fishing rights) and the tenants of the respective waters.

Legal basis for the protection of fishing rights

According to the fisheries law, that is Fischerreichrecht a private property right. The protection of such is among other things also in Civil Code (BGB) under § 1004 set. Section 823 of the German Civil Code (BGB) also deals with and regulates this issue Claims for damages. According to the Fisheries Act, one reason for such a claim can be "considerable, culpable damage to fish stocks".

A illicit fishing but can also be one Constitute a criminal offense, as foreign fishing law is violated and it may also be fish poaching. This is done in the Criminal Code (StGB) under Section 293 explained. If this takes place in open waters (networked waters owned by the state), a Prosecuting ex officio a consequence.

In closed, private waters it is an unauthorized removal of fish, what after § 242 StGB a theft or after § 246 StGB an embezzlement can represent.

Will be at a illicit fishing objects that are used in connection with this, such as boats, nets or fishing rods, can also be damaged Damage to property according to § 303 StGB be punished. Civil law would then after § 823 BGB claims for damages arise.

State Fisheries Act

As mentioned earlier, the fisheries law is in the responsibility of the individual federal states. Therefore, the exact regulations on the law as well as on fishing law should, for example, when applying for a fishing license clarified on site become.

For anglers are usually the State fishing regulations important. These regulate the implementation of the state fisheries laws when it comes to fishing. The following can be found an overview of the respective state fisheries laws as well as the ordinances:

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Fisheries Act: Angling and fishing are regulated by law
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