This Code of Conduct for the use of crab tiles has been drawn up following consultation with all those concerned with the practice of collecting shore crab Carcinus maenas within estuaries. The reason for the Code is to help reduce the areas of conflict and allow those who collect shore crab for angling bait, to carry out this activity with the minimal amount of intrusion from other bodies working on estuaries. The Code is also aimed to help improve the natural environment of our estuaries through considerate usage.


For the purposes of this Code of Conduct the term ‘Crab Tile’ shall include any form of artificially placed habitat, structure or shelter to aid the collection of shore crab Carcinus maenas within an estuary.

Code of Conduct

  1. Always seek the permission of the landowner before accessing the foreshore or placing crab tiles on any foreshore. Check that crab tiling is not restricted by Local Sea Fisheries Byelaws, Local Council Byelaws or Harbour Authority Byelaws.
  2. All crab tiles sited in the vicinity of public slipways, which are in such a position as to cause difficulties to those landing, and retrieving boats from those slipways shall be removed.
  3. No crab tiles shall be placed within five metres of commercial oyster and mussel beds and there shall be left a means of access on foot to each oyster and mussel bed within a width of at least ten metres to the shore.
  4. Crab tiles shall only be placed in those areas agreed. All efforts shall be made to remove crab tiles from areas not agreed.
  5. All crab tiles must be correctly positioned, that is to say they must be placed at such a low angle so as to ensure that they do not cause difficulties for the other river users and in any event no crab tiles shall be more than 20cm in height.
  6. No crab tiles shall be of a material which could affect the quality of the water to the detriment of the estuary. In particular the placing of tiles made from an asbestos-based material shall be discouraged, and thiose in present use shall be phased out.

This Code deals only with the correct setting of crab tiles within an estuary and those bodies that should be consulted prior to starting to set crab tiles. When going out onto the intertidal areas of an estuary you should always be well prepared and take responsibility for your own safety.

© 2019-2024 Taw-Torridge Estuary ForumWebsite designed and developed by Garganey Consulting