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The Irish Fishing Fleet

The Irish fleet contains 5 main segments:

Refrigerated Seawater (RSW) Pelagic Segment: This segment is engaged predominantly in fishing for pelagic species (herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting, mainly).

Beam Trawler Segment: This contains vessels, dedicated to beam trawling, a simple trawling method used predominantly in Irish inshore waters except in the southeast, where it is used to catch flatfish such as sole and plaice.

Polyvalent Segment: This segment contains the vast majority of the fleet. These vessels are multi-purpose and include small inshore vessels (netters and potters), and medium and large offshore vessels targeting whitefish, pelagic fish and bivalve molluscs.

Specific Segment: This segment contains vessels which are permitted to fish for bivalve molluscs and aquaculture species.

Aquaculture Segment: These vessels must be exclusively used in the management, development and servicing of aquaculture areas and can collect spat from wild mussel stocks as part of a service to aquaculture installations.

The vast majority of the fleet is within the polyvalent segment, which comprised 1,862 vessels in 2010. A breakdown of the fleet by type of vessel is outlined in figure Table 11.1.