As an island nation the Maritime, Fishing & Aquaculture sector is extremely important to Ireland. All of our goods come in from overseas, often through our ports. Fishing is the bedrock of many coastal communities, with fish farming adding to the employment from sea fishing. Ireland’s waterways are a major tourist attraction, especially for anglers.
The Irish seafood sector employs over 14,000 people and is worth €1.15 billion to the economy. Although a growing sector over the last 7 years, the United Kingdom's decision to withdraw from the European Union poses many challenges for the seafood sector. Future access to fishing grounds, quota allocation, and regulatory divergence are but some of the issues, unique to seafood, that remain unresolved.
There are several industry sectors closely related to shipping, these include using Ireland’s ports to welcome cruise ships, offshore exploration for gas, as well as the construction and maintenance of platforms and building or repairing ships.
Sea fishing is an important focus of economic life in communities all along Ireland’s coast, providing jobs, income and investment, while playing a key role in local identity.
Fish farming, also termed aquaculture, is the activity of raising marine life in enclosures, primarily for use as food.
Ireland has several centres engaging in research of the marine environment and the life contained within it. These centres are important hubs of technological development and scientific inquiry.