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 2016, the overall 2016 fishing opportunities (i.e. Total Allowable Catches (TACs) species) for stocks to which the Irish fleet has access to, were 1.1 million tonnes of fish, with an estimated landed value of €1.26 billion. Ireland’s total share of these TAC’s in 2016 amounted to 216,261 tonnes with a value of € 201 million. The main fish species this included were mackerel, horse mackerel, boarfish, blue whiting, herring, cod, whiting, haddock, saithe, pollack, 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 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. Ireland's Marine Atlas includes details of fishing activity in the inshore waters (up to 10 miles from the Irish coast).
Key Fisheries Related Publications
- The Stock Book 2017: Our Fisheries Ecosystems Advisory Services (FEAS) team produces The Stock Book annually, which provides the most up to date stock status and scientific advice on over 60 fish stocks exploited by the Irish fleet. It contains impartial scientific advice developed by the team (working with other international scientists) from the latest available research, assessments and advice on the fisheries resource and the wider marine ecosystem.
- The Shellfish Stocks and Fisheries Review: Focusing specifically on the inshore sector, it gives an overview of shell-fisheries legislation, management and economic value in Ireland and assessment of selected stocks.
- Atlas of Commercial Fisheries Around Ireland, 2nd edition: This Atlas gives new insights into the fishing activities and fisheries resources around Ireland.
- Atlas of Commercial Fisheries for Shellfish around Ireland: This atlas describes the spatial distribution of activity by fishing vessels under 12m in length in the territorial and coastal waters of Ireland.
- Atlas of Irish Fish Trawl Surveys - Supporting Fish Stock Assessment and New Ecosystem Advice: This Atlas presents key results from the Irish groundfish survey programme which is carried out annually in the waters around Ireland, and the Deepwater programme conducted between 2006 and 2009.
- Atlas of Demersal Discarding – Scientific Observations and Potential Solutions: This Atlas provides information on discarding patterns by species and area by the various Irish demersal fleets. A number of potential technical measures to reduce discards are shown as well as two case studies showing the potential impact technical measures have on landings and discards.
- North Western Waters Atlas 3rd Edition: This Atlas includes general summary information on the physical and chemical features, habitat types, biological features, birds, mammals, fishing activity and other human activities of the NWW region.