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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 Egypt in the FAO Website, here


Egypt is member of the GFCM as for February 19th 1951. The country is party to the UN Law of the Sea Convention (26 August 1983)) and also to the FAO Compliance Agreement of 1993 (14 August 2001). Egypt has not ratified the FAO Port State Measures Agreement of 2009 and the UN Fish Stock Agreement of 1995.


The maritime delimitations of Egypt are regulated by the Decree of 1951 on Territorial Waters of the United Arab Republic of Egypt and also the Declaration concerning the exercise by Egypt of its rights in the Exclusive Economic Zone.

The General Authority for Fish Resources Development (GAFRD) was established by the presidential decree number 190 for year 1983. GAFRD is the only responsible governmental authority for the fisheries sector in Egypt.

Access regime to fisheries resources

National vessels must obtain a license, valid one year, issued by the GAFRD, upon payment of fees, whose amount varies according to the vessel capacity, the fishing gears used and the size of the crew. Additionally, in case of motorized fishing vessels, its seaworthiness must be certified by the Department of Harbours and Lighthouses and a marine competency certificate must be issued to the master of the vessel.
Among the mention to be included in the license are inter alia: the capacity of the vessel, the maximum size of the crew, the authorized area and method. Daily or periodically exit/enter permit at ports are also mandatory. They are issued by the coast guards and “responsible fisheries office” at ports.
Fishermen must obtain a license card prior engaging in fishing activities, also valid for one year. It must mention name and place of residence, area of operation and method of fishing.
Vessels conducting scientific research are exempted from licensing requirement. Vessels belonging to cooperative associations or companies of the public sector may benefit from reduced fees.<br/ Exemptions may also apply where it is established that a vessel if unsound, if a fisherman is incapable of fishing for at least a month, or in respect of fishing activities in remote or unexploited fishing areas that are damaged as a result of disasters.
Foreign fishing vessels are not allowed to fish nor be present in the territorial waters of Egypt, unless for research purposes, authorized by the Minister of Agriculture and upon payment of the prescribed fees.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Conservation and management measures

Areas and time restrictions

The Law n°102-83 on Natural Protected Areas of the 1983 provides the legislative framework for establishing and managing protected areas.
Moreover, it is prohibited to fish from 1st May to 30th June of each year (breeding period for most species). However, this period can be reduced, by the fisheries management authorities, taking into consideration social conditions.

Minimum sizes

Although minimum sizes should be specified in decrees issued by the Minister of Agriculture, no official species' minimum sizes have been regulated (inspectors in landing areas determine illegal fishing sizes according to their experience).

Protected species

The Law n°102-83 on Natural Protected Areas provides the legislative framework for the designation of Natural protected areas. These are delineated by a decree of the Prime Minister upon recommendation of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (art. 1). The following activities are forbidden in protected areas: catching, transporting, killing and disturbing wildlife; damaging or removing any living organism, natural feature and resource such as shells, corals, rocks and soil for any purpose; damaging or removing plants from protected areas; Permanently prohibited species: marine mammals, sharks, dolphins, sea turtles and sea birds, fish sea squid. In particular, for sea turtles by-catch the GAFRD has adopted, issued, and circulated a restricted decision that prohibits any fishing for sea turtle. In addition, if there is any accidental by catch of sea turtle it should be returned alive to the sea and reported to the concerned management office at the ports including the date and the location of this accidental fishing following the Law 4/1994 renewed in 2004 and the decree n. 444/2012.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Fishing gears and fishing methods used

Article 3 of Chapter 1 of the Fishing Law 1983 states that it is not permitted to change type of gear used and not allow to increase the engine power. Article 9 provides that the permission of the boat nets or machinery or unauthorized tools or prohibited fishing as it is not permissible for any person possessing these machines and tools to enter fishing locations or near them.


Main fisheries laws and regulations

Monitoring, control and surveillance

Register and Vessel marking

Any vessel must be marked on its sides by the GAFRD with a serial number and a sign indicating the class of the vessel and the area in which it may be used for fishing. Markings must be kept clearly visible and can be altered only with the authorization of the GAFRD (article 2 and 3 of the Act No. 124 of 1983 on Fishing, Aquatic Life and Aquaculture).

Coast guards are authorized to seize prohibited or non-regulatory fishing gear and fish caught in the commission of an offense

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Port State measures

This section will be updated in due course.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject


This sections will be updated in due course.

Landing obligations and Logbook

The main fishing ports along the Mediterranean are Matrouh, Anfoshi, Maadaaia, Rahied, Boruls, Damietta, Port Said and Aresh. There are also many small landing sites that are used mainly by sail boats.

According to the Egyptian law No. 124/1983, “the foreign fishing vessels are completely prohibited to enter the Egyptian water and Egyptian fishing port except for emergency cases or for research purposes conducted in cooperation with Egyptian fisheries agency”, accordingly there is no any fishing ports can be listed to receive foreign fishing vessels.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Vessel Monitoring System

It is not yet fully implemented, VMS system is foreseen to be installed by the end of 2016, according to financial and technical means. One fishing vessel, involved in Bluefin tuna fisheries, already using the system, in cooperation with another country.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

IUU Fishing regulations and sanctions

Egyptian legislation prescribes a wide range of fines and penalties, depending on the severity of the offense, such as:


  • Fishing licences may be withdrawn for a period of 6 months in case of fishing activity in a prohibited area or using prohibited method. In the event of a repeated infringement, the licence may be definitively withdrawn.

  • in case of fishing without a valid licence: imprisonment for no more than 3 months and/or fine not exceeding 50 pounds, seizure of the vessel and apparatus, payment of twice the amount of annual fees prescribed for the period during which the vessel was operated without a license. Masters of foreign vessel may be fined from 5000 EGP to 10 000 EGP (in addition to the seizure of the vessel until final payment)
  • in case of violation of closed seasons: 2 months fishing ban, up to 6 months in case of repeated offence, in addition to the seizure of vessel and equipment</li>
  • in case of non-compliance with legal minimum sizes: imprisonment for 3 months, up to 6 months and/or a payment of a fine not less than 100 pounds (in case of repeated offence: penalty doubled, seizure of the gears and catches)</li>
  • in case of falsification, suppression, concealment of vessel markings: fine from 10-20 pounds, doubled in case of repeated offence, subject to settlement.</li>

    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

    Principal Legal Measures on Monitoring, Control and Surveillance

    Law No. 124 of 1983 regarding fishing, aquaculture and fish farms regulations
    Landing of catch
    Data reporting (Art. 22 of Act No. 124 of 1983)
    Vessel Monitoring System (VMS)
    There is not a specific legislation in this domain
    Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated fishing (IUU)
    There is not a specific legislation in this domain
    Technical inspection (Art. 30 of Act No. 124 of 1983

    Source FAOLEX


    This sections will be updated in due course.

    Main aquaculture laws and regulations

    Main aquaculture laws and regulations

    Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject


    LaMed Questionnaire.