How to claim a New Record

The Committee exists to recognise and publish record weights of both fresh and salt water fish caught on rod and line by fair angling methods in the waters of England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands, and aims:
1.To provide an adjudicating body to which marine and freshwater anglers may submit claims for record fish taken by fair rod and line angling.
2.To investigate all such record claims to the fullest possible extent and maintain a permanent record of such investigations.
3.To establish and maintain accurately a list of British fish, marine and freshwater, of record size and to publish this list frequently and make it readily available to all interested persons.
The activities of the Committee are voluntary, and claims are considered and adjudicated upon, only on the basis that the Committee shall be under no obligation whatsoever to claimants, that its decisions shall be final, and it shall not be obliged to give reasons for its decisions. Issued by the BRITISH RECORD (rod-caught) FISH COMMITTEE, 51A, Queen Street, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 2Ql (01626 331330).

1. (a) The claimant should contact the Committee Secretary by telephone.
    (b) Advice will then be given concerning preservation, identification and claims procedure.
2. Claims must be confirmed promptly in writing to the Secretary stating:
(a) the species of fish, the weight and if a game fish whether a natural or cultivated fish or in the case of the Rainbow Trout whether a cultivated, resident or wild fish,
(b) the date and place of capture, the tackle used, and in the case of sea fish whether shore or boat caught .
(c) the names and addresses of witnesses, preferably two, both as to the capture by the claimant and the weight, who will be required to sign the forms supporting the claim. (If no witnesses to the capture are available, the claimant must verify his claim by affidavit).
(d) photographs of the fish must be made available which should be good quality and preferably in colour. They should include shots of the angler, holding the fish in a normal manner, or in the case of a very large fish, standing alongside it, and also the fish lying on the ground on or next to, an identifiable object.
3. No claim will be accepted unless the Committee is satisfied as to species, method of capture and weight. The Committee reserves the right to reject any claim if not satisfied on any matter which the Committee may think in the particular circumstances to be material. The Committee requires a high degree of proof in order to safeguard the integrity of the list. As a high degree of proof is required rejection of a claim imports no reflection on the bona fides of the claimant. All costs of submitting a claim must be met by the claimant.
Chairman: Mr. R. W. Page Secretary: Mr. D. Rowe Scientific Adviser: Mr. A. Wheeler

(a) Fish caught at sea will be eligible for consideration as a record if the boat used has set out from a port in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands and returns to a port in the United Kingdom without having called at any port outside the United Kingdom.Fish caught in the territorial waters of other countries will not be eligible.(
b) Claims can only be accepted in respect of fish which are caught by fair angling with rod and line. Fair angling is defined by the fish taking the baited hook or lure into its mouth, and must be in accord with the rules of the respective angling discipline Coarse, Game or Sea.
(c) Shore fishing shall mean fishing from any land mass or fixed man-made structure. In cases of doubt the Committee will classify a claim on the information provided.
(d) Fish must be caught on rod and line with any legal hook or lure and hooked and played by one person only. Assistance to land the fish (i.e. gaffing, netting) is permitted provided the helper does no touch any part of the tackle other than the leader.

(a) The fish must be weighed on land using scales or steel yards which can be tested on behalf of the Committee. Where possible commercial or trade scales which are checked regularly by the Weights and Measures Department should be used. The sensitivity of the scales should be appropriate to the size of the fish, i.e. small fish should be weighed on finely graduated scales and the weight claimed for the fish should be to a division of weight (ounce, dram, gramme) not less than the smallest division shown on the scales
(b) A Weights and Measures Certificate must be produced certifying the accuracy of the scales used and indicating testing at the claimed weight.
(c) In the case of species weighing less than one pound the claimed weight must be submitted in grammes.
(d) The weight must be verified by two independent witnesses who, for example, should not be relations of the claimant.

(a) The Committee is required from time to time to consider claims for fish of species which cannot be determined to its satisfaction without inspection. For this reason and others, claimants are strongly advised not to liberate or otherwise dispose of a fish for which it is intended to enter a claim until an inspection of the body, dead or alive, has been made by a representative of the committee and permission given for disposal.
(b) While claimants should recognise that failure to produce the fish for inspection may prove prejudicial to the acceptance of a claim, the Committee does not bind itself to reject a claim solely because inspection has not been made.
(c) All carriage costs incurred in production of the fish for inspection by the committee must be borne by the claimant.

Claims can be made for species not included in the Committee Record Fish List.8. The Committee will issue at regular intervals its list of British Record (rod-caught) Fish

No fish caught out of season shall be accepted as a new record.10. A fish for which a record is claimed must be normal and not obviously suffering from any disease by which the weight could be enhanced.
All species of freshwater fish listed in the 1995-1996 Record List are regarded as native or as established aliens and a Section 30 Consent (under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975) will not normally be required, unless the established alien specie has not previously been caught in the water of capture. In the case of a specie which is an established alien not known to have been caught in the water of capture before or is a specie for which no previous record has been awarded, the Committee reserves the right to request the production of a Section 30 Consent and a MAFF Consent to introduce a non-native species of fish (under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981). The possibility of freshwater fish close to, or above the British Record Weight being imported into the UK and claimed as a British Record has been considered by the Committee which is of the mind that such claims should not be considered.

The following are rare or threatened species in Great Britain and are protected under the provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act(1981) and later Orders. This protection results in it being an offence to capture any of these fishes intentionally. Anglers who believe that they may have captured a specimen of any of these species are advised to unhook and release the fish unharmed as soon as possible after capture. Allis shad Alosa alosaBurbot Lota lotaSchelly, powan or gwyniad Coregonus lavaretus Sturgeon Acipenser sturioVendace Coregonus albula. No claims for records for these species will be entertained by the BRFC. (The entries for Allis shad and Schelly in the List of Records are given as historical records only).

If an angler catches a potential British record fish he/she should make the claim in the first instance to the BRFC Secretariat at 51A Queen Street, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 2Q]. (Tel/24 hour answer phone 01626331330; fax also). The Secretariat will advise accordingly and, where appropriate, forward to the claimant or his/her agent, the necessary claim forms. Once completed the forms should be returned to the Secretariat who will forward them to the respective discipline for their consideration and endorsement. The claim will then be brought to the next BRFC meeting which takes place as and when necessary but normally in April and October. The representatives of the disciplines are as follows:- STA; NFA/NASA; NFSA. Medium sized fish can be preserved for considerable periods by refrigeration (deep freeze), or immersion in formalin. If a fish is to be sent by post or rail it is best immersed in a solution of one tablespoon of formalin (40% solution of formaldehyde) to a pint of water. For despatch, the fish should be wrapped in a cloth wrung out in the solution, placed in a plastic bag sealed as far as possible, and wrapped in stout brown paper; please enclose the name and address of the sender and whether the fish should be returned - if so the postage. The fish should be weighed before being placed in preserving liquids.

World record marine and freshwater fishes are the concern of the International Game Fish Association, 300 Gull Stream Way, Dania Beach, Florida, 33004-9968, USA Tel: (954) 927 2628.World record claims for sharks should be made through the Shark Angling Club of Great Britain, Looe, Cornwall. Shark records on the British List are for the heaviest fish of each species, irrespective of the strength of line used; for records of sharks caught on different breaking strains of line please refer to the Shark Angling Club of Great Britain.

The address of the Hon. Fish Recorder of the European Federation of Sea Anglers is 27, Beaver Close, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 4GB.

The British Record (rod-caught) Fish Committee has in membership both the Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers and the Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers. Scottish and Welsh sea records which are also British records are submitted either direct to the BRFC or by the respective organisation to which the initial claim is made. The British Record (rod-caught) Fish Committee has in membership both the Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers and the Welsh Record (rod-caught)fish Committee. Scottish and Welsh records which are also British records are submitted by the respective organisation to which the initial claim is made. Please Note: The Record List is the copyright of the B.R.F.C., and that the NFSA acts as their Secretariat and therefore all enquiries etc should be made to B.R.F.C. - c/o NFSA Head Office - 51a, Queen Street, Newton Abbot, Devon. TQ12 2Q.


APPENDIX to BRFC Press Release dated May 2003

New Claim Procedure from 1 st June 2003

1.      The Claimant should contact the Secretary.  Telephone: +44 (0) 1364 644643; Fax: +44 (0)1364 644486, or by post to BRFC c/o NFSA Head Office, Level 5, Hamlyn House, Mardle Way, Buckfastleigh, Devon. TQ11 0NS. E-mail:

2.      Advice will then be given on identification, the claims procedure and if appropriate preservation. If the office is closed a message should be left on the answerphone.

3.      The Secretariat will record the date and place of capture, the species of fish and if a game fish whether natural or a cultivated or in the case of a Rainbow Trout whether a cultivated, resident or wild fish. The weight and details of the scales used to weigh the fish and request that a clear coloured photograph be forwarded so that identification can be confirmed. If the fish is available, the claimant will be advised to keep the fish if pending identification by the photographs.

4.      Claims must be confirmed promptly in writing to the Secretary stating the date and place of capture, the species of fish and if a game fish whether a natural or cultivated or in the case of a Rainbow Trout whether a cultivated, resident or wild fish. The weight and details of the scales used to weigh the fish and a clear coloured photograph must be forwarded so that identification can be confirmed.

5.      Once the photograph has been received, and its identity established, the claimant will be informed and issued with the claim forms, he/she will then have 56 days to complete the forms and provide the necessary evidence for the claims.

6.     Once the completed forms have been returned, the Secretary will acknowledge them, make copies and forward by post to the Members of the Record Committee for their consideration and if acceptable their endorsement of a new record.

7.      Once the Committee have agreed the claim, the clamant will be issued with confirmation of the Record in the form of a letter.

8.      All claims will then be brought to the next BRFC meeting, which takes place annually, normally in October of each year to officially ratify the claims and to conduct all the business of the BRFC.

9.      A Certificate to commemorate the record will then be printed and circulated to the claimant.

10.  Press Releases informing of the new accepted claims will be issued by the secretariat bi-monthly or as and when necessary. And a current list of the records will be lodged on the NFSA Web-site, and a Booklet printed as and when agreed by the Committee.



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