Fishing in the Costa del Sol

Information on fishing, angling and the permits required for fishing in Andalucia...

A fishing licence, or rod licence, (permiso de pesca) is required to fish both inland and sea waters in Spain.

Fishing on the Costa del Sol

Swordfish, tunny, sea bass and grouper are but a few of the fish that sea fishers may find in the coastal waters.

Sea fishing is limited to two rods per fisher and the catch limit is 5 Kg per day. Catching red tuna (atún rojo) is prohibited. There are minimum size limits.

Reservoirs, lakes and rivers contain a wide variety of fish including trout, pike and carp.

The Ministry of the Environment (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente) in Andalusia regulates fishing in the area.

Fishing Licences

Licence requirements vary greatly from region to region, and sometimes from town to town. Spain is attempting to adjust its fishing laws to come into line with EU directives; however, the changes have created inconsistency regarding requirements. It is advisable to check with the local Ministry of Agriculture and Water (Consejería de Agricultura y Agua) for current requirements. Some smaller towns may have licensing and catch size information posted on a bulletin board in the town square.

Fishing licences for recreational sea fishing (pesca maritima)

A licence is required to fish from the shore or from a boat off-shore There are four classes of sea-fishing licence:

  • Class 1: From the shore (desde tierra) - valid for three years
  • Class 2: From a boat (desde emarcación) - valid for three years
  • Class 3: From a commercial/tour boat (colectiva) - valid for one year
  • Class 4: Underwater fishing (pesca submarina) - valid for one year

Licences for sea fishing (including underwater fishing) can be obtained from the local Consejeria de Agricultura y Pesca.

Fishing licences for recreational freshwater fishing

Inland-water fishing permits must be applied for at the local provincial office of the Ministry of the Environment (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente). If the applicant does not have an existing foreign licence, an angling exam (in Spanish) must be taken. An application to take the exam must be submitted at designated times of the year (usually January as well as mid-May to the end of June). As of September 2011, exams can be taken on the first Tuesday of April, May, June, September, October and November.

Once the exam is successfully completed, the applicant is registered on the Continental Hunting and Fishing Registry (Registro de Caza y Pesca Continental) and assigned a registration number (Número de Identificación Registral- NIR). An application for a fishing license may then be submitted at Caja Mar and other banks in the region.

Holders of an existing foreign licence may make a permit application online from Telelicencia.

Applicants of 65-years of age or older are exempt from any licensing fees. Young people under the age of 14 are exempt from licensing requirements however they must have written permission from a parent or guardian and be registered in the Continental Hunting and Fishing Registry of Andalucia (Registro Andaluz Caza y Pesca Continental de Andalucia).

Note: Personal liability insurance is required to fish the waters of Andalucia.

Underwater fishing

Fishers may use a snorkel tube, mask and mechanical harpoon gun but underwater fishing with scuba equipment is forbidden.

Applicants for an underwater fishing licence must be at least 18 years of age.

Documents required to obtain a spearfishing licence:

  • Two passport-size photos
  • Medical certificate stating the applicant is physically capable of undertaking the activity
  • Completed application form T760
  • Receipt of payment (payment locations should be found on the application form)
  • Passport
  • Photocopy of the applicant's NIE

Holders of a Foreign Fishing Licence

Holders of an existing foreign licence planning on travelling to Spain may find it easier to obtain a licence online from Telelicencia.

Local Contacts