Skip to main content
Hit enter to search or ESC to close

Fish and Seafood sector

Sector Summary

Seafood exports increased to an estimated €530 million in 2022, up €17 million compared to 2021. This represented a good performance by the sector given the volume challenges, albeit with varying trends across the species. 

Total volumes exported were down an estimated 19%, reflecting the challenging situation faced by Irish seafood exporters in securing supply. The reduction in quotas from the Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA), affected some key species, the temporary cessation scheme, less days at sea due to difficult weather conditions, higher costs for marine diesel, energy and labour, and availability of labour a challenge for both fishers and processors, all contributed to lower volumes.



The prospects for the Irish seafood sector are mixed. The impact of higher input costs, packaging and labour costs and availability, are set to remain as challenges across all species. In addition, consumers potentially switching to cheaper proteins could have an impact on demand.

For Pelagic there will be another cut in the Irish quota of 2.5% in 2023. Processors will be challenged to attract foreign landings and add value to the reduced quantity of product available, which will dictate performance in 2023.

Shellfish is expected to perform well in 2023 with continued growth into the EU, and Asia. The Chinese market will remain challenging due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions affecting their foodservice sector

For Salmon, greater competition from supplies of organic product from Norway and Scotland is likely in 2023.

Whitefish exports are likely to face a difficult year but demand in the key domestic and export markets should prove resilient.

The industry is investing to ensure greater production efficiencies, installing renewable energy equipment and packaging lines to add value to their product.

Exports of value-added seafood, which are captured under PCF, grew by 30% to approximately €125 million. This continues the strong growth of previous years and offers the industry better margins and more options when targeting potential customers. Most of this growth has been to the EU with notable increases to some Asian markets also. We see this trend continuing and are actively working with our seafood clients to add value to their range.