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Information for fishermen and main fishing regulations

Fishing regulations

There was a time not so long ago, when the sea in Israel was full of fish. Today, only a few are left. And we’re not talking only about fish, but also about other creatures that have almost become extinct in our seas. Unlimited and unsupervised fishing, and a lack of enforcement of fishing regulations have led to almost irreparable damage to the breeding and renewal of the fish population.

Fishing regulations are intended to improve the sorry state of fish in the sea and bring about sustainable fishing management that takes into account the livelihood of fishermen alongside protection of the future ecological balance in the sea. In early 2018 responsibility for monitoring and enforcement of fishing regulations was transferred to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. As part of this process the Israel Nature and Parks Authority has established a marine enforcement unit that operates in the Mediterranean Sea, the Sea of Galilee and the Red Sea.

The rangers of this unit work night and day to explain and strictly enforce fishing regulations. Only with cooperation by you, the fishermen, will we able to achieve our common goal – sustainable fishing management in Israel, which will allow all of us to continue to enjoy the sea and its limited resources. Following the regulations will help us in this effort.

We intend to enforce the law with sensitivity, but also with uncompromising determination. Join us in protecting the sea.

 

To the right of this section you can find answers to frequently asked questions that have come up as a result of the updating of fishing regulations in Israel.

We emphasize: The main elements resented here are explanatory only and in no way replace the law as it appears in the document entitled “Fishing Regulations – 1937,” updated, and the document entitled “Fishing Licenses – Procedures,” which are legally binding. 

Note: Regulations marked with two asterisks (**) are transitional regulations: These regulations are valid for three years from the day of their publication, that is, until December 2019. After that, they may remain as they were, or changes may be inserted in them.

 

This content does not replace the legally binding fishing regulations.

FAQ

What are the main fishing regulations?

Get acquainted with the new fishing regulations:

  • Closure of areas to unrestricted net fishing (unlimited dragnet fishing on the seabed)
  • Purchase arrangements for trawl-net fishing boats and removing them from the fishing fleet
  • Setting updated minimum size of catch (limits harm to juvenile fish)
  • Fishing bans during breeding and growth season
  • Ban on spear-gun fishing with dive-tank assistance
  • Limiting sport-fishing catches
  • Changes in the conditions for obtaining a fishing license

For further information, phone the Israel Nature and Parks Authority information line at *3639, or visit our website

What kind of fishing needs a license?

All fishing in Israel needs a license, except for line fishing from the beach.

There are two kinds of fishing that require licenses: sport fishing and commercial (professional) fishing.

The license for both kinds of fishing is personal and individual.

Commercial fishing from a vessel requires a fishing license as well as a license for the vessel.

Sport fishing from a vessel with four lines or more requires a fishing license for the vessel as well.

How to obtain a fishing license?

To apply for a fishing license, the appropriate forms must be filled out and sent by mail to:

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

Fishing Department

Hakiriyah Hahaklait Beit Dagan

POB 30

5025001

Forms may also be submitted by hand to the Fishing Department offices in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development,

Hakiriyah Hahaklait Beit Dagan

Click here to download forms from the Fishing Department website

For further information, call: 03-9485426, or *9432

Who makes the laws?

The Knesset makes laws submitted to it by various entities: government ministries, ministers, public organizations, etc.

As for fishing regulations, usually the head of the fishing department, who is also the head of the Ministry of Agriculture’s fishing department, proposes changes to regulations similarly submitted, after consulting with experts in the Ministry of Agriculture (scientists and others) and following surveys and other studies, and after meeting with representatives of the sector, such as fishermen, fish breeders, etc.

Before an amendment to a law is passed, the public has the opportunity to comment on it. After that phase, the regulations are discussed in the Knesset Economics Committee, where the public and representatives of various organizations and associations can voice their opinions.

Where can the laws and regulations be seen?

The laws and regulations can be found on the website of the fishing department as well as in the Justice Ministry Gazetteer

 

How much does a fishing license cost?

The fees are updated from time to time. Licenses are valid until the end of the civil year (December 31). That is, the applicant must pay the full fee even if the application was submitted after the beginning of the civil year. For example, an application submitted in September will be valid until the end of the civil year and the applicant will be required to pay the full fee.

As of July 2018, the fees are as follows:

 

Personal fishing license license 191
Sea of Galilee fishing license license 461
Copy of personal fishing license Copy 101
Fishing license for vessel with vertical trawl net in the Sea of Galilee license 1200
Fishing license for other fishing methods from vessels in the Sea of Galilee license 4730
Fishing license for vessel for coastal fishing in the Mediterranean/Gulf of Eilat license 247
Fishing license for vessel with seine net in the Mediterranean/Gulf of Eilat license 273
Fishing license for vessel with drop lines in the Mediterranean/Gulf of Eilat license 274
Fishing license for trawlers in the Mediterranean license 1660
Fishing license for long-distance trawlers license 64920
Fee for copy of lost or destroyed fishing license for vessel Copy 101
Fee for license to offload fish from foreign vessels license 1430
What are the conditions for receiving a professional (commercial) fishing license for an individual (personal) and for a corporation?

All persons applying for a fishing license will undergo a background check for criminal record and the license will be issued in keeping with the findings.

For individuals:

  1. The applicant must have an identity card (according to clause 24 of the Population Registry Law, 1965) or, for non-citizens, a valid work permit in Israel.
  2. Self-employed applicants must present tax records showing proving that fishing is a source of their livelihood.
  3. Salaried applicants must present the tax deduction records of their employer.

For a corporation:

  1. A corporation will attach to its application corporate papers and confirmation of incorporation by the registrar of corporations as required by law.
  2. A corporation must provide in the application the names of the individuals whom it authorized to act under the license issued to the corporation. The individuals acting for the corporation must show corporate papers and confirmation of incorporation by the registrar of corporations as required by law.
  • Important note: an individual who has been issued an individual commercial fishing license and corporate fishing license must fish according to the conditions listed in the license. These include:
  1. From a vessel – only according to the fishing methods noted in the license and from a vessel whose owners have been granted a commercial fishing license.
  2. Non-vessel fishing – only according to the methods noted in the license.

Note:

  • The vessel owner and license holder must ensure that fishing from the vessel is in keeping with the law.
  • Background check of applicant: the head of the fishing department will conduct a criminal-record background check of the applicant (or of the individuals employed by a corporation). An application may be rejected “for reasons of public security or the past, character or conduct of the applicant”.
  • In certain cases the head of the fishing department may check the suitability of the vessel for fishing by the methods for which the license was requested before granting the license.
What are the conditions for receiving a professional (commercial) fishing license for the owner of a vessel?

All persons applying for a fishing license will undergo a background check for criminal record and the license will be issued in keeping with the findings.

Commercial fishing license for vessel owners:

  1. The vessel must have a sailing license as defined by the Ports Regulations (Sailing Safety) 1982; according to the conditions of the fishing license, the license is valid for the duration of the valid vessel license. If the vessel license expires, so does the fishing license.
  2. The applicant must be registered as the vessel’s owner in the Shipping and Ports Authority of the Ministry of Transportation.
  3. The applicant must meet the requirements for an individual license and must show documents attesting that the applicant’s livelihood is based on fishing:

Self-employed applicants must present proof of fishing as a source of livelihood.

Salaried applicants must present confirmation of tax deductions by the name of the employer who is authorized to engage in fishing.

  1. The vessel must be licensed as intended for fishing. Nevertheless, the head of the fishing department may grant a commercial fishing license to the owner of a vessel not registered as a vessel intended for fishing, if that vessel was granted such a license before this procedure was instituted and under special conditions that will be noted.

 

Important note: Only those with a valid commercial, individual (personal) fishing license, or the person whose name is noted on a commercial, corporate license, may fish from a vessel.

Note:

  • The vessel owner and license holder must ensure that fishing from the vessel is in keeping with the law.
  • Background check of applicant: the head of the fishing department will conduct a criminal-record background check of the applicant (or of the individuals employed by a corporation). An application may be rejected “for reasons of public security or the past, character or conduct of the applicant”.
  • In certain cases the head of the fishing department may check the suitability of the vessel for fishing by the methods for which the license was requested before granting the license.
What are the conditions for obtaining a license for sport fishing?

All applicants for a fishing license will be subject to a criminal-record background check the findings will determine whether a license is issued.

Individual (personal) sport-fishing license:

1, The applicant must have an Israeli identity number (according to clause 24 in the Population Registry Law, 1965).

Sport-fishing license for vessel owner:

  1. The vessel must have a sailing license as defined in Ports Regulations (Sailing Safety), 1982; according to the conditions of the fishing license, the license is valid only if the vessel has a valid vessel license. If the vessel license expires, so does the vessel’s license to fish.
  2. The owner of the license is the registered owner of the vessel who is registered in the Ports and Shipping Authority.

Important note: Only those with a personal valid fishing license may fish from the vessel.

Note:

  • The owner of the vessel and the owner of the fishing license for the vessel are responsible to ensure that fishing from the vessel conforms to the law.
  • Background check of applicant: In evaluating the application for a fishing license the head of the fishing department will check whether the applicant (or the individuals for whom the corporation is applying) has a criminal record. An application may be rejected based on the past, character or conduct of the applicant.

In certain cases, before issuing the license the head of the fishing department may assess whether the vessel is suitable for fishing by the methods requested in the application.

• Where is fishing prohibited and where is it allowed in the Mediterranean Sea?

There are restrictions in fishing in certain areas:

  • Fishing in marine nature reserves: rifle and line fishing from the sea in officially declared nature reserves is absolutely prohibited. Line-fishing from the beach is permitted in keeping with signs of the beach.

Trawl-net fishing is prohibited in the following areas:

  • Rocky areas
  • North of the Dor-Habonim Line
  • **From the Dor-Habonim line to the Bat Yam line in water less than 30 m deep.
  • **South of the Bat Yam line in water that is less than 30 m deep.
  • **South of the Bat Yam line at night (from 9 P.M. to 5 A.M.) in areas that are less than 25 m deep.

Additional areas where fishing is prohibited:

 

  • West of Hadera
  • West of Netanya
  • West of Herzliya
  • West of Tel Aviv
  • West of Bat Yam

The precise coordinates of these areas can be found here

There are additional areas designated as no-fishing zones in the Haifa Bay and on the Carmel coast

Fishing specifically for fingerlings at the estuaries of streams flowing to the Mediterranean Sea:

Net fishing is prohibited in the Mediterranean Sea streams and in the zone 100 meters from their exit to the sea.

To all questions and answers

Contact us

Director of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority Marine unit

Igal Ben Ari


Information line

Israel Nature and Parks Authority


phone_number: 3639*

address: 3 Am V’Olamo Street, Givat Shaul, Jerusalem

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