Northern Ireland is no exception to the almost universal, but entirely erroneous belief, throughout Western Europe that the commercial catching sector is economically significant.

This is a copied/pasted overview of the NIEconomy.

The Economy in Northern Ireland

Overview

The 2010 Annual Business Inquiry estimates turnover by businesses in Northern Ireland to be worth £60,461 million; an increase of 2.8% compared to 2009. Gross Value Added (a measure of the value of economic activity generated by businesses) was estimated at £18,664 million, an increase of 3.8% (£675 million) over the year.
Manufacturing sales increased by 3.3% (£513 million) to £15.9 billion during the period 2010/11. Manufacturing sales outside the UK (exports) were estimated to be worth £5.1 billion in 2010/11, representing a small decrease of 0.6%. This decline was driven by a 15.7% (£229 million) fall in sales to the Republic of Ireland.

Businesses in NI have a cumulative turnover of £60,461,000,000.

Manufacturing sales stand at£15,900,000,000.

Manufacturing Exports are £5,100,000,000

The total commercial fish landings into NI(pelagics + demersal + shellfish) for 2011 are £20,000,000.  That represents:  0.034% of business turnover, 0.13% of manufacturing sales and 0.4% of manufacturing export.

There are only 379 registered commercial fishing boats in NI and only 578 full time fishermen plus 110 part time.  Since there are 700,000 in employment in NI, the commercial catching sector accounts for just 0.1% (one tenth of one percent) of employment.

Given the ‘importance’ in which they are held by politicians and the media, the ‘man in the street’wont believe or accept the above facts.

This is the battle that environmentalists and RSA have before them – to dismantle the perception that the commercial catching sector is vastly larger than in fact it is.