Within the NIFCA district there are two main commercial fisheries, namely potting for shellfish such as Lobster and Crabs, together with demersal trawling for nephrops. There is also a range of smaller scale fisheries including beach netting for migratory fish, hand lining for mackerel and other pelagic species, netting for demersal species and limited dredging for scallops (pending inception of a prohibition on that activity in the Authority district which currently awaits Defra approval).

The majority of the vessels working in the above fisheries are locally owned and operated boats with strong ties to their communities and mainly under 12 metres in length with one or two crew members, returning to harbour each day. Approximately 150 vessels operating from 15 ports and landing inside or close to the district work within the 6-mile limit which NIFCA regulates. Interested in learning more about different fishing methods? Check out this guide from Seafish.