The Department of Fisheries was established in its first incarnation in 1924 and continued until 1928.  The Department of Lands and Fisheries was established in 1928 and subsisted until 1934.  TThe Land Commission was transferred to the Department of Lands to form the Department of Lands and Fisheries. A Department of Lands continued from 1934 to 1977.  It dealt with fisheries.

The Department of Agriculture in this iteration ran from 1928 or 1965. The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries was established in 1965 and continued until 1977.

The Department of Fisheries was established in 1977 and in 1978 became the  Department of Fisheries and Forestry which continued until 1986. The Department of Tourism, Fisheries and Forestry was established in 1986 and subsisted till 1987.

The Department of Marine and Natural Resources was established in 1997 and subsisted till 2002. The Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources was established in 2002 until 2007. The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food was established in 2007

Seafood Policy

The seafood policy division is responsible for the strategic, economic and sustainable development of the seafood sector.  It regulates it within the common fisheries policy framework. The division exercises functions separately for the licensing, monitoring of aquaculture activities.  It consults with the aquaculture and foreshore management division.

The seafood policy division  negotiates fisheries policy at EU level. It supports a strong seafood sector in Ireland, promoting development of the seafood sector and implementing effective management of Ireland’s sea fishing resources.  The key legislation is the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act, 2006.

Aquaculture and Foreshore

The aquaculture and foreshore management division ensures the efficient and effective management of aquaculture and foreshore licensing.  The division seeks to develop and manage the efficient and effective use, effective regulatory framework for agriculture licensing and foreshore licensing under the Fisheries Amendment Act 1997.

Bodies under the aegis of the Department include the Aquaculture Licenses Appeal Board established under the 1997 Act; Bord Iascaigh Mhara, the Irish Sea fisheries Board, the Marine Institute, the Sea fisheries Protection Authority.


Sea Fisheries

The sea fisheries administration division licenses and registers sea fishing boats and develops fishery harbours and coast protection.  It has responsibilities in relation to fishing boat license and registration.  It manages six fishery harbours at Howth, Dunmore East, Castletownbere, Killybegs, Dingle and Rossaveal.  It administers fishery, harbour and coastal infrastructure development programs.

The department issues fisheries management notices and fish stock authorisation determinations.  There are determinations in respect of the need for authorisation for certain fish.  The fisheries management notice sets out quota management notices for particular species.


  • The Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board was established in 1998
  • The Irish Maritime Development Office was established in 2000 under the Marine Institute Act Amendment Act.  It is the development agency for the shipping services sector.
  • The licensing authority for sea fishing boats was established in 2003 under the Fisheries Amendment act.
  • The National Salmon Commission was established in 2000 under the Fisheries Amendment Act  and ceased under  the Inland Fisheries act 2010.
  • Bord Iascaigh Mhara was established under the Sea Fisheries Act 1952 a
  • The central fisheries board was established under the Fisheries Amendment Act 1980 and was replaced by Inland Fisheries, Ireland.  It replaced the former inland fisheries trust and also took over the functions of boards of conservators. Inland fisheries Ireland was established in 2010 under the Inland Fisheries act 2010.  It replaced the central and seven regional fisheries boards, the National Salmon Commission and eight fisheries cooperative societies.
  • The Marine Casualty Investigation Board was established in 2002.
  • The Marine Institute was established in 1992 and is still active.
  • Salmon Research Trust of Ireland was established in 1955.  In 1990, the Salmon Research Agency took charge of the facilities on behalf of the Minister for the Marines.
  • The Fisheries Research Centre,  Abbotstown became part of the Marine Institute in 1997.  In 1999, the Salmon Research Agency was transferred to the Marine Institute.
  • The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority was established in 2007 under the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006.
  • The Irish Sea fisheries Association was established in 1930 and replaced under the Sea Fisheries Act, 1952.
  • The Salmon Research Trust of Ireland was established in 1950 and became the Salmon Research Agency.  The Inland Fisheries Trust Inc. was established in 1951 and replaced by the Central Fisheries Board in 1980.  The Salmon Research Agency was originally Salmon Research Trust of Ireland.  It became the Salmon Research Agency in 1990 and was absorbed into the Marine Institute in 1999.


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Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.

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