Sea and Freshwater Fishing in Barcelona

Information on freshwater and sea fishing near Barcelona, as well as the permits and licences required...

Sea and freshwater fishing in Spain is managed at a regional level. Fishing regulations and the requirement for a licence varies from region to region, and may even vary between river and lake fishing, sea angling and underwater fishing in a single province. The period of validity of a licence varies as do fishing seasons, which are announced annually by a region's authorities.

Regionally specific information is available from the Generalitat or the local Ayuntamiento/Ajuntament (municipality).

Fishing in Barcelona Province

Fresh water and sea fishing are both permitted around Barcelona. Sea fishing is most commonly done from a boat, however there are areas, particularly along the north coast, favoured for rock fishing. Boat rental and deep sea fishing trips can be arranged. Sea fishing is prohibited from one hour after sunset until one hour before dawn.

Underwater fishing may only be done with mask and snorkel and a mechanical harpoon. Diving and fishing with scuba gear is prohibited.

Fresh water fishing is popular in places on the River Ter and River Onyar for barbel, carp, tench and eel, and Lake Banyols for carp and pike. The River Segre has stretches of government-controlled trout fishing.

There is a minimum size to the fish and shellfish that may be caught.

  • For a chart of minimum sizes: Click here (PDF; in Spanish)

Information about local fishing areas and fishing seasons is available from the local town hall.

Catalonia: Licences for Recreational Fishing

A recreational fishing licence (Llicència de pesca recreativa) is required to fish the inland or marine waters, or underwater, in Catalonia.

  • For information regarding the types of fishing licences available in Catalonia: Click here (in Spanish)
  • For full details of marine fishing: Click here (PDF in Spanish)

In Catalonia, permits are available for one to four years (renewable); the price varies, depending on period of duration. The licence is free for pensioners and people under 14 years of age.

An underwater fishing licence (Llicència de pesca recreativa subaquàtica) is valid for one year and is renewable. An application for an underwater fishing licence must be accompanied by an official medical certificate stating that the applicant is physically fit enough. If the certificate is not in Spanish or Catalan it must be officially translated into either of those languages.

A collective recreational fishing licence is available for groups of up to ten or more people fishing together (Llicència de pesca recreativa collectiva). There is a separate application form in this case.

  • Licences are available to anyone 16 years of age and older who has not been banned from recreational fishing
  • A parent or guardian must apply for a licence for a child under 16
  • Licences are free for children under 14, for retirees and people with a permanent or total disability

Applying for a fishing licence

Recreational fishing and recreational underwater fishing licences for Catalonia can be applied for and renewed online via the Generalitat de Catalunya website. A Spanish physical address is not required. After the application is submitted, applicants receive notification via email or SMS text message that the licence is ready and printable. The applicant can then download and print the licence. Applications made online are discounted and payment is made using a credit card.

A licence can be applied for in person; submit an application to the territorial Department of the Environment office (Serveis Territorials de Medi Ambient). A paying-in slip is issued, which is used to pay the licence fee at a la Caixa d'Estalvis i Pensions (La Caixa) bank or ServiCaixa self-service machine (available 24-hours a day). The bank or machine will issue a receipt, which should be taken back to the Media Ambiente office, where the licence should be issued immediately. The paying-in receipt is only valid for one month. Application forms for the llicencia de pesca recreativa are available online and at Serveis Territorials de Medi Ambient offices.

  • For contact information, including addresses, of territorial Medi Ambient i Habitatge offices: Click here

Failure to obtain the necessary permits and licences can result in large fines and confiscation of fishing equipment. Some anglers choose to hire professional tour operators to obtain the required permits, licences and insurance.

Local Organisations

Local fishing is monitored by the following organisations:

Local amateur fishing associations

Related Information