All Scottish fishing vessels are licensed based on their size, where they fish and what they catch. This helps maintain the size and catching capacity of the fleet.
Nearly all Scottish catches are limited by a Total Allowable Catch (TAC or Quota). Based on scientific advice, TACs are apportioned by EU and neighbouring States and decided annually by the European Council.
An additional way to control fishing pressure is to set the amount of time vessels are allowed to spend at sea. This is managed by Marine Scotland.
Almost all Scottish Commercial stocks have minimum sizes for landing and selling.
A large number of regulatory measures restrict the type, design, construction or amount of fishing gear that Scottish fishermen can use. This helps to control fishing pressure and assists in targeting species more selectively.
To maintain the environment, local conservation measures limit or prevent types of fishing activity. Scotland has a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) which conserve and protect species, habitats and marine features of the seas.