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Species profiles of fish found in and around Ireland

Atlantic Herring (Clupea harengus)

Atlantic Herring

The Atlantic herring forms some of the most spectacular schools of any fish species. These enormous aggregations can consist of billions of fish, and extend for literally miles in all directions. Atlantic herring occur throughout the north Atlantic ocean, from the Bay of Biscay northward to Iceland and southern Greenland…..

Atlantic Cod (Gadus Morhua)

Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua)

The once plentiful cod is becoming worryingly scarce throughout its north Atlantic range. For decades it has been the most sought after commercial fish species of European fishing fleets, and stocks are now in serious decline. Experts in the field of fisheries biology agree that crashes in cod populations caused….

Grey Gurnard (Eutrigla gurnardus)

The grey gurnard is a fish of the north east Atlantic, and is found as far south as Morocco and into the Mediterranean. It is relatively common around Ireland, and of the three species of gurnard found in our waters is the most likely to be encountered near the coast…..

European Eel (Anguilla anguilla)

The European eel is an amazing creature. Found in the rivers of the North Atlantic, Baltic and Mediterranean Seas, it has a fascinating life-cycle that involves an incredible two-way migration across the Atlantic ocean. Eel eggs hatch in the depths of the Sargasso Sea in the western Atlantic. Tiny, transparent,….

Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar)

Watching Atlantic salmon leaping into and clearing a raging torrent of water as they travel upriver to spawn must be one of the most inspiring sights in nature. This magnificent fish has been recorded leaping more than 3 metres (10 feet) into the air to negotiate waterfalls, weirs and other….

Blue Shark (Prionace glauca)

Sharks don’t spring immediately to mind when you think about Ireland’s wildlife. Nevertheless, the waters around our island nation play host to a number of shark species, including the huge basking shark, second largest fish in the sea, which grows to an astonishing 14 metres (c. 46 feet) long; the….

Atlantic Mackerel (Scomber scombrus)

The Atlantic mackerel is a common and widespread fish around Irish coasts. A favourite with anglers, it is often caught in great numbers during the summer when huge shoals move inshore to feed on vast numbers of herring fry and sand eel. Mackerel is a handsome, streamlined fish that belongs….

Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus)

The basking shark is the biggest fish found in Irish waters, and the second largest fish on earth after its Indo-Pacific cousin, the whale shark. Although it belongs to the same family as the notorious great white, and has more teeth than any other shark, the basking shark is actually….