Seafood in Fuerteventura

Summer is coming, the hours of daylight are getting longer and more and more you want to go to the coast to spend a special day. 

When the tide goes out on the rockiest beaches of Fuerteventura, puddles and rocks are exposed. That is the ideal time to shellfish. This practice dates back to the first settlers of the island, as evidenced by the innumerable shell middens found in the vicinity of aboriginal settlements. Over the years, but especially after the tourist boom, our coasts have suffered an overexploitation of shellfish resources, especially limpets, mussels, burgados and other species, which are easy prey. 

This practice sometimes becomes a very destructive competition for marine biodiversity, specifically when some insist on plundering everything within their reach, collecting shellfish as if family livelihood depended on the limpets, mussels and fish that they manage to put in the bucket during that day

Today we want to draw attention to certain practices that make our coastline look increasingly impoverished. Also give you the keys so that, when you go to the coast, you act with environmental responsibility, since these activities are regulated and skipping the regulations leads to heavy fines. 

The shellfishing that you can carry out, prior acquisition of the license or timely authorization, is recreational. This activity is defined as one that is done for entertainment, sport or hobby, without profit. That is, you should not sell the catches you make. 

If you want to obtain the recreational fishing license, you have the option of doing it online (through the following link) or in person at the Cabildo de Fuerteventura (C/. Lucha canaria, nº 112. Puerto del Rosario).

Rules for shellfish in Fuerteventura: 

Shellfishing must be carried out within the intertidal strip, making sure not to alter or modify the geological or biological substrate that serves as habitat for the different shellfish species or destroy the layer made up of different organisms that cover it. 

In addition, you have to do it respecting the area where you are going to shellfish. It is allowed to turn only those stones that are necessary to carry out the activity, as long as they are left in the original place and without their fragmentation or destruction of the vegetal covering layer that they possess.

Where to find seafood in Fuerteventura 

The shellfishing areas are spread over a large part of the rocky coast of Fuerteventura, being the windward coast, due to its greater productivity and state of the sea, where the largest catches are made. Localities with easy access and located on the leeward side are the busiest and this is where the populations of shellfish resources, such as limpets, are in the worst state of conservation.

It should not be shellfished in the following enclaves:

  • In areas that are covered by water or in the subtidal zone. 
  • In areas subject to closure, or within marine reserves where shellfishing is not authorized.
  • Within the limits of port facilities, as well as within a radius of three nautical miles from the outer limits of public ports of a general or commercial nature. 
  • When there is some type of discharge of residual or purified water, of urban, industrial, agricultural origin, etc. Nor less than 3 nautical miles from any metallic or other nature object likely to produce some kind of polluting effect on the marine environment.
  • It is also not allowed to shellfish in protected spaces. Among them From Tarajalejo to Ginijinamar, the Natural Monument of Cuchillos de Vigán, or on the Isla de Lobos.

Quota and minimum sizes: 

Keep in mind that the maximum catch per day is 5 kg, if you fish and shellfish on the same day. 

You can catch up to:

  •  3 kg of limpets. But make sure they are from the Lapa blanca, Lapa curvina, or Lapa negra species. The size of the limpets must always be greater than 45 mm. The majorera limpet has been listed as an endangered species in the National Catalog of Endangered Species and its capture is totally prohibited. 
  • 1.5 kg of Burgados. And only 500 g if what you decide is to catch male Burgados. The size must be greater than 15 mm.
  • 1 kg of common sea urchin. 
  • 5 kg of octopus. The weight of each of these cephalopods must be at least 1kg. 
  • 3.5 kg of Moorish crab. The minimum size is stipulated at 60 mm 
  • 2.5 kg of white crab. They must measure at least 50 mm each.

In the following image we show you the correct way to measure limpets, barnacles and crabs. 


In addition to the majorera limpets, it is forbidden to take carnadilla or cañailla (Stramonita haemastoma), barnacles, clacas (Megabalanus azoricus), nor cones, busios, abalone, country clam, Canarian clam, Barrels (Tonna galea or Tonna pernnata), Fans (Pinna rudis), and the Oyster (Spondylus senegalensis) 

Finally, remember that the Majorero mussel (Perna perna) is widely protected and that its extraction is completely prohibited throughout the island territory, based on the Order of July 16, 2004 of the Government of the Canary Islands, which is still in force, and that initially it was published in the BOC nº 141 of July 22 of that same year.


In case of violating the regulations on fishing in Fuerteventura, the law establishes different types of sanctions, such as warning, fine, and confiscation of products. Regarding the fines, the following range is established:

  1. Minor offenses from 60 to 300 Euros 2.
  2. Serious offenses from 301 to 60,000 Euros
  3. 3. Very serious offenses from 60,001 to 300,000 Euros.

For the calculation of sanctions, a general criterion is followed, where aspects such as intentionality and recidivism are considered.


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