The Irish Aquaculture Industry

Since the initial developments in the early 1970s, the Irish aquaculture industry has grown to become an important contributor to the national economy. There has been a steady, and in some cases exponential increase, in both output and value, in job creation, and in the diversity of sites used and species farmed.

Mussels, Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas), native oysters (Ostrea edulis), clams and scallops are the main shellfish species being produced in Ireland at present. Salmon and rainbow trout are the two principal finfish species farmed at sea. Salmon consistently accounts for 85-95%, by volume, of annual finfish production.

New species have entered the sector since the 1970s and among their number include cod, scallops, abalone, clams, charr, and perch.

Marine Institute

The Marine Institute is directly involved with the aquaculture sector, both finfish and shellfish. The Institute has functions in advisory, monitoring, research, and development roles.

The links on the left should help you find information on the work of the Marine Institute in the aquaculture sector.


There are a number of agencies and development organisations involved in Irish Aquaculture including:

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has responsibility for sea fisheries, aquaculture, marine research, marine engineering and pier and harbour development . In addition, the Department is also responsible for aquaculture licensing, monitoring, and enforcement of aquaculture activities.

The Department of Communications,Energy and Natural Resources and the agencies under its aegis have general responsibility for regulating, protecting and developing the marine and natural resources of Ireland.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) is the State Agency with responsibility for developing the Irish seafood industry. BIM's mission is ‘to promote the sustainable development of the Irish seafood industry at sea and ashore and support its diversification in the coastal regions so as to enhance the contribution of the sector to employment, income and welfare both regionally and nationally’ 

Aquaculture Research