Understanding the process
You can go underwater fishing:
- If you are 16 or over
- From sunrise to sunset
- More than 100 metres from the bank or from marine structures, excluding the area between the Pointe Saint-Martin and the base of the Rainier III sea wall where it joins the shoreline
- More than 50 metres from fixed nets or nets from ships or other vessels engaged in fishing activities
Anyone carrying out underwater fishing must signal their presence by means of a buoy, to indicate their location. The Alpha flag from the International Code of Signals (blue and white) or a red flag with a white Saint Andrew's cross must be affixed to the buoy. Underwater fishing is forbidden from 15th October to 15th March, except in the case of exemptions granted by the Director of Maritime Affairs for competitions and group training exercises organised under the responsibility and proper control of an approved club. The use of a gun or a revolver for underwater fishing that fires an arrow to pierce the fish is forbidden if the propulsive force of the weapon is due to the detonating power of a chemical mixture or the expansion of compressed gas, unless the expansion of this gas is activated by the action of a mechanism manipulated by the user.
In addition, the following may not be used:
- Light sources or bait
- Breathing apparatus for use while diving, in particular air or oxygen cylinders
- Any type of harpoon, such as a spear, multi-branch spear or trident, except single-pointed darts
It is forbidden:
- To capture marine animals that have been caught in nets or other equipment placed by fishermen
- To deliberately disturb the targeted species or remove protected species as described in international agreements to which Monaco is a Party
- To carry, out of the water, a loaded weapon or other apparatus that is designed for underwater fishing
The number of fish caught must in no case exceed seven per fisher during the same day of fishing.
Fishing of any kind is forbidden in the following marine protected areas:
- The Larvotto marine reserve, delineated to the east by the border of the territorial waters and to the west by the cove of the Larvotto Beach, as marked by yellow buoys
- The Spélugues coral reef, delineated to the east by the Portier cove and to the west by the Luciana jetty
Fishing of any kind is forbidden:
- In harbours, and in the entrances to ports in Monaco
- In maritime areas where work is being carried out and where public access if forbidden, as set out in ministerial decrees
The precise conditions in which underwater fishing may be practiced are stipulated in the Ordonnance Souveraine n° 3.131 du 14 février 2011 relative à l’exploitation des ressources vivantes.
You should go to the Department of Maritime Affairs, taking proof of identity. You will need to make an annual application, for which a receipt is issued. One copy of the declaration is sent to Monaco Police Department (Marine and Airport Police Division). The declaration referred to above must be accompanied by a medical certificate stating your fitness for underwater fishing and a civil responsibility insurance policy with unlimited liability covering any accidental injuries that may be caused to a third party by the policy holder while the holder is carrying out underwater fishing (or a valid underwater fishing licence.)