Salmon, eels, trout, pike, perch, and other freshwater fish are found in the rivers and lakes; sea angling is good along the entire coast; and deep-sea fishing is done from the south and west coasts. The fishing industry has made considerable progress as a result of government measures to improve credit facilities for the purchase of fishing boats and the development of harbors; establishment of training programs for fishermen; increased emphasis on market development and research; establishment of hatcheries; and promotion of sport fishing as an attraction for tourists. The Irish fishing fleet consisted of 1,156 vessels with 55,093 GRT at the start of 1998.
Leading varieties of saltwater fish are mackerel, herring, cod, whiting, plaice, ray, skate, and haddock. Lobsters, crawfish, and Dublin Bay prawns are also important. In 2001, the value of fish production was €206.6 million, up 8.8% from 1999. The marine catch accounted for 70% of the value. The total catch in 2001 was 192,342 tons. Mackerel, herring, and blue whiting accounted for 27% of the volume that year.