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Welcome to the GFCM Database on National Fisheries Legislation

Please read the 'Introduction' in the Main Page before starting.

N.B: the below reported contents are currently subject to revision and will be thus updated in due course.


For further information, please visit the Fisheries and Aquaculture Country Profile of Cyprus in the FAO Website, here


Cyprus has been a member of the GFCM since the June 10th 1965. The country is party to the UN Law of the Sea Convention (12 December 1988) and the UN Fish Stock Agreement of 1995 (25 September 2002), and to the FAO Compliance Agreement of 1993( 19 July 2000). Furthermore, Cyprus is a party to FAO Port State Measures Agreement of 2009 through the EU (see Article 1.h. of the Agreement). Cyprus is an EU member State since 1 May 2004. Moreover, the conservation of marine biological resources (under the common fisheries policy) is an exclusive competence of the EU (Article 3 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) and fisheries is a shared competence between the EU and its member States (Article 4 of the TFUE). Thus, most of the Cyprus fisheries and aquaculture legislation are covered by the EU Common Fisheries Policy. Therefore some of the paragraphs below are linked to the EU legislative database where the EU regulations are developed.


Access regime to fisheries resources

The Fisheries Basic Act governs the access to marine resources occurring within national waters. Prerequisites for licensing are the submission of fishing applications each year within a preestablished timeframe. The vessels that are licensed are included in the in the Fleet Vessel Register (Commission Regulation (EC) No. 26/2004 on the Community fishing fleet register, see: European Union). Issuance of approved license applications is subject to a fee depending on the type of license.

Administrative authorizations and licenses

The duration of the fishing license is annual (from the date of issuance) with all licenses terminating on the 31st of December of each year. Licenses are not transferrable. Licenses can be suspended or revoked by the Director of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research of the Ministry of Agriculture Natural Resources and Environment. Non-EU fishing vessels shall comply with provisions of the Common Fisheries Policy concerning the conservation and control measures and other provisions governing fishing by EU fishing vessels in the fishing zone in which they operate (art. 22) Council Regulation (EC) No. 1006/2008 concerning authorisations for fishing activities.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Main fisheries laws and regulations

Conservation and control measures

A management planfor bottom trawl fisheries for the territorial waters of Cyprus was established in 2011. Also in 2011 where was an adjustement in fishing effort for Cypriot fleets targhetting demersal and mesopelagics stocks in the coastal water of Cyprus. Fishing capacity is controlled according to the European legislation. Licenses are also used to control the fishing capacity with a set of maximum license numbers for certain fleet segments. Specifically, the Fisheries Basic Act provides for restriction on the number of licenses to be issued (ex: artisanal fisheries up to 500 licensed vessels Category A and B).

Restrictions apply on fisheries resources

Area and time restrictions

Prohibitions related to fishing gear and areas are in place within national territorial waters (Council Regulation 1967/2006 Art. 13). A no fishing area has also been established within the territorial waters for the use of bottom trawl fishing gear (Regulatory Administrative Order 465/2008). Other orders that relate to prohibited areas for fishing with all fishing gears are:

  • Regulatory Administrative Order 200/2008
  • Regulatory Administrative Order 385/2009
  • Regulatory Administrative Order 193/2011
  • Regulatory Administrative Order 524/2005 (prohibition of the use of certain types of artisanal nets per area and time)

In addition, the Fisheries Basic Act art. 14 stipulates that the marine area of Laras is prohibited to any person from 1 June to 30 September. Laras is delimited on the eastern side by the line of maximum level from the point of section 34 54΄30” Northern Parallel up to the point of section of the 34 59΄ of Northen Parallel, known locally as the area from “Aspros” to “Argaki of Giousoufi”, and extends vertically to a minimum of 20 meters of depth. In addition it is also prohibited to pass, or lower an anchor for any reason, as well as fishing in any way (except for with rod and line).  between 1 June and of 30 September of each year, in the marine area of Laras,which is delimited Easternly by the line of maximum level of tide from the point of section 34 54΄30” Northern Parallel up to the point of section of the 34 59΄ of Northen Parallel, that is to say the locality known as “Aspros” up to “Argaki of Giousoufi”, and which is extended vertical to the part of sea in-depth no smaller than 20 metres.

A closed season for bottom trawlers has also been created from 1 june to 7 November (Fisheries Basic Act, Art. 21). Artificial reefs have been established (Regulatory Administrative Order 385/2009).

Minimum sizes

This subject is covered by the European Union legislation.

Protected species

The Fisheries Basic Act prohibits the fishing of marine turtles, seals, dolphins, and crabs of the species Ocypode cursor (Art. 13).

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Fishing gear and methods

Prohibitive fishing gears and measures regulating fishing gear are listed in Council Regulation 1967/2006 and the Fisheries Basic Act (Art.19, 19A, 21). Minimum sizes are governed by Regulation (EU) No. 1343/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council on certain provisions for fishing in the GFCM (General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean) Agreement area and amending Council Regulation (EC) No. 1967/2006 concerning management measures for the sustainable exploitation of fishery resources in the Mediterranean Sea of 13 December 2011.

Requirements due to fishing vessels


This subject is covered by European Union legislation.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Reporting obligation

This subject is covered by European Union legislation.
Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject


This subject is covered by European Union legislation.

Landing of catch

This subject is covered by European Union legislation. Non-EU vessels shall land or transship their catch only in designated ports (Regulation (EC) No. 1005/2008 establishing a Community system to prevent IUU fishing art. 5). In Cyprus only Limassol Port is a designated port.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject


This subject is covered by European Union legislation.

Vessel Monitoring System

This subject is covered by European Union legislation. EU Vessels of over 15 meters are required to carry VMS on board Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 404/2011 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1224/2009.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject


This subject is covered by European Union legislation.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject
REC. GFCM/33/2009/8 on the establishment of a list of vessels presumed to have carried out IUU fishing in the GFCM area

Principal Legal Measures on Monitoring, Control and Surveillance

European Union Legislation
Landing of catch
European Union Legislation
International Agreements Council Regulation of 20 June 2011 on the approval, on behalf of the European Union, of the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (2011/443/EU)
European Union Legislation



Section under construction

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Source: Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus;; LaMed Questionnaire.