There are just over 2000 commercial fishing vessels on the Irish Register. There are approximately 240 vessels in the over 15 metre category, 330 between 10 metres and 15 meteres in length and 1570 vessels under 10 metres in length.
These vessels pursue a wide range of activities: Bottom trawling, mostly carried out to catch whitefish and prawns. Pelagic or midwater trawling, mostly this is carried out by pairs of vessels, one towing each side of the net. Gillnetting, a method which is used to catch whitefish. Seining, a method used to catch whitefish. Potting, a method used to catch crab, lobsters, shrimp, prawns and velvet crabs. Lining, which is used to catch mackerel, white pollack and tuna. Dredging, a method used for catching scallops, oysters, razor fish or mussels.