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Loughs Agency has been responsible for licensing and regulating the native oyster fishery in Lough Foyle since September 2008.

The fishery operates an annual closed season from April 1 to September 18 inclusive, when the oysters are breeding. From September 19 to March 31 inclusive, fishing is permitted under licence from 6am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Licence holders must adhere to the relevant licence conditions and regulations.

Anyone who wishes to operate a vessel for harvesting native oysters must apply for a licence. Loughs Agency licenses vessels annually and we usually announce a public call for applications, via our website and the local press, in May.

Applicants must submit a completed application form before a specified deadline and provide supporting documentation. Please note that the applicant must deliver the licence application in person and late applications cannot be accepted. The annual fee is £150 or €166.

Licence holders must complete logbooks recording their catches every week and return these to Loughs Agency. Our Fishery Officers carry out regular patrols on land and water. Infringements of the regulations may result in prosecution.


Following the Government’s advice in relation to COVID-19, Loughs Agency has put in place a number of measures to maximise our capacity to continue to deliver our services as best we can.