Crab Fishing in Ireland

Updated February 21, 2017

Being an island nation on the edge of Europe in the Atlantic, Ireland benefits from extensive fishing grounds. Crab fishermen operate inshore using baited pots and creels to reel in the scuttling delicacies.


Irish crab species caught and sold in Ireland include brown crab, spider crab, velvet crab and green crab.


As of September 2010, there were 1,800 shell fishery license holders in Ireland. The soft-eye creel is the most popular device used to catch brown crab, with 200,000 of them in use. Spider crab are caught with top entrance inkwell pots. The inshore fleet is concentrated on the south and west coasts of Ireland with Cork, Kerry, Donegal and Galway being the most common coasts fished.


Crab fishing is regulated by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, under the Fisheries Acts 1959 to 2006. Commercial boats are licensed by the Registrar General of Fishing Boats.

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About the Author

Jillian O'Keeffe has been a freelance writer since 2009. Her work appears in regional Irish newspapers including "The Connacht Tribune" and the "Sentinel." O'Keeffe has a Master of Arts in journalism from the National University of Ireland, Galway and a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from University College Cork.