Killybegs is the largest fishing centre for the Irish Commercial Fishing Industry. Photo: Michael McBride

The Irish Commercial Fishing Industry

The Irish Commercial Fishing Industry has been an important employer and a crucial food resource for coastal communities for hundreds of years.

From Moville on Lough Foyle, Co. Donegal to Omeath on Carlingford Lough in Co. Louth, the Irish coastline is peppered with inlets, piers, and harbours where fishermen launched their boats in order to prosper from the rich seas.

Ireland is a country in north-western Europe and is currently a Member State of the European Union.

Being a Member State of the EU means that the Irish commercial fishing industry is subject to the rules and regulations of the Common Fisheries Policy which dictates an annual quota, tonnage and kilowatts allowed by the fleet.

The Irish Commercial Fishing Industry is worth about €1.22 billion annually to the Irish economy.

The industry employs around 11,000 people in fishing, processing, sales and marketing.

Irish fisheries products are exported all over the world to Nigeria, Japan and China.

Landings to Irish ports have been valued at €434million in 2019 which was an increase of 15% on the previous years.

Landings of high value species including hake, monkfish and megrim resulted in an increase (+15%) in the overall value of landings to Irish ports in 2019 according to the latest BIM Business of Seafood report. Strong demand for Irish mackerel at the beginning of 2019 following a quota decrease also contributed to this increase.

Major Irish Commercial Fishing Ports

Killybegs, Co Donegal

Castletownbere, Co Cork

Howth, Co Dublin

Clogherhead, Co Louth

Dunmore East, Co Waterford

Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford

Greencastle, Co Donegal

Rossaveel, Co Galway

Dingle, Co Kerry

Skerries Harbour, Co. Dublin on the Irish Sea. Photo: Oliver McBride

Kilmore Quay Harbour, Co Wexford. Photo: Oliver McBride

Oriel Pier, Clogherhead, Co. Louth. Photo: Oliver McBride

Major fish species landed in Ireland’s fishing boat

Pelagic

Mackerel

Herring

Blue Whiting

Horse Mackerel

Sprats

Whitefish

Cod

Haddock

Hake

Monkfish

Whiting

Sole

Plaice

Shellfish

Nephrops (aka Dublin Bay Prawns, Norwegian Lobsters, Prawns)

Crabs

Scallops

Lobster

Major Commercial Sea Fisheries Methods

Pelagic Trawling

Bottom Trawling

Beam Trawling

Dredging

Pot fishing

Gill-netting

Seine-netting

Purse-seine-netting

Ring-netting

Magheragallon Pier, Gweedore, Co. Donegal. Photo: Oliver McBride

MFV ‘Áine’ at Killybegs, Co. Donegal. Photo: Oliver McBride

Irish Fish Producers Organisations

Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation (KFO)

Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO)

Irish South & West Fish Producers Organisation (IS&WFPO)

Irish South & East Fish Producers Organisation (IS&EFPO)

Burtonport Harbour, Co. Donegal. Photo: Oliver McBride

Irish Fishermen’s Co-operatives

Malin Head Fishermans Co-Op, Slievebawn. Malin Head, Co. Donegal

Burtonport Fishermans’ Co-operative Society, Burtonport, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

Galway & Aran Fishermens Co-operative Society,  The Pier, Rossaveal, Co. Galway

Castletownbere  Fishermen’s Co-operative Society Ltd, Dinish Island Castletownbere Co. Cork

Dunmore East Fishermen’s Co Operative Society, The Harbour, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford

Clogherhead Fishermen’s Co-op, Clogherhead, Co Louth, 

Foyle Fishermans Co-op Society Ltd, The Pier, Greencastle, Co Donegal

The BIM National Fisheries College of Ireland based in Greecastle, Co. Donegal has provided invaluble training to young Irish fishermen for over four-decades. Photo: Oliver McBride

The BIM National Fisheries College of Ireland based in Greecastle, Co. Donegal has provided invaluble training to young fishermen in the Irish Commercial Fishing Industry for over four-decades.

The Modern Irish Commercial Fishing Industry – The Fishing Daily

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