The Irish sea fishing industry makes a significant contribution to the economy, in terms of output, employment and exports.
In 1997, landings of fish by Irish registered vessels totalled 278,000 tonnes, with a value of
IR£130 million. There are approximately 1,400 registered fishing vessels, mainly inshore and midwater boats, in the Irish fleet. Exports of fish and fish products in 1997 amounted to 255,000 tonnes, valued at £228 million. The value of aquaculture production is experiencing strong growth. Current annual production is 35,000 tonnes, valued at IR£55 million.
The fishing industry, as a whole, supports full-time and part-time employment for over 16,000 people.