The fisheries resource is the bedrock of the Irish seafood industry. The waters around Ireland contain some of the most productive fishing grounds and biologically sensitive areas in the EU. In 2010, an estimated 1.3 million tonnes of fish were taken by the fishing fleets of EU member states from the waters around Ireland (ICES Sub-areas VI & VII). Ireland landed 259,500 tonnes of these fish or 23% of the international landings. The main fish species caught were mackerel, horse mackerel, boarfish, blue whiting, herring, cod, whiting, haddock, saithe, hake, megrim, anglerfish, plaice, sole and Nephrops.

Fish stocks (excluding the Inshore stocks) are managed by the EU under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The main instrument of the CFP are Total Allowable Catches (TACs) supplemented by various technical measures (e.g. effort control; mesh size). The provision of timely and accurate fisheries advice on the resource base underpins the management framework of the CFP. Inshore fish stocks (e.g. whelk, cockle) are managed nationally and the Marine Institute works closely with Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) through the inshore management. The Inshore Fisheries Atlas provides details of fishing activity in the inshore waters (up to 10 miles from the Irish coast).

Key Fisheries Related Publications


Data Collection

The collection of data on the fisheries resource provides the raw material for the FEAS work programmes. There are two main sources of data collected and used by fisheries scientists; fishery independent and fishery dependent data. The first usually involves monitoring the temporal and spatial changes in the fish populations using fisheries surveys on commercial vessels and purpose built research vessels (RV. Celtic Explorer & RV. Celtic Voyager). Fishery dependant data involves collecting and analysing biological data (age, length etc.) of the fish caught, together with data on the quantities of fish caught and the fishing effort.

The marine Institute hosts a dedicated site for all information relevant to the DCMAP (Data Collection Multi Annual Programme) funded by the EU, which can be found at

Working with Industry

Working with industry  is a key aspect of the Marine Institute programmes. Engagement with industry takes place at many levels.  The Irish Fisheries Science Research Partnership (IFSRP) involves industry representatives and scientist from both Marine Institute and BIM and meeting on a regular basis throughout the year to discuss scientific work programmes and priorities.  In the ports and at sea Marine Institute staff rely on the co-operation of individual skippers to provide invaluable samples required to conduct scientific assessments and investigations. Collaborative stakeholder engagement is a cornerstone of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM).

Fisheries Research 

  • For information on past and ongoing research, please see the Projects Database.
  • For information on possible funding opportunities, please see the Funding pages.