Castletownbere Fishermen’s Co-Op

Membership approved until 1st May 2019

Business Background


Product Range
Gutted Fresh Whitefish, Whole Fresh Whitefish, Whole Fresh Crab/Crab Claws, Whole Fresh Squid, Whole Frozen Herring, Headed And Gutted Frozen Herring, Frozen Herring Flaps, Whole Frozen Mackerel, Headed And Gutted Frozen Mackerel, Frozen Mackerel Flaps, Whole Frozen Sprat, Horse Mackerel, Boarfish, Whole Fresh Herring, Mackerel, Boarfish, Horse Mackerel, Albacore Tuna, Bluefin Tuna, Whole Frozen Prawns, Whole Frozen Prawns, Whole Fresh Prawns Frozen Prawn Tails and Fresh Prawn Tails.

Specialists In
The production of blast frozen whole/headed and gutted/filleted pelagic fish; fresh mackerel and Albacore tuna; fresh demersal fish species; fresh and frozen at sea whole prawns/prawn tails; fresh squid; fresh whole crab/crab claws.   



Castletownbere Fisherman’s Co-operative Society Ltd was founded in 1968 by a group of fishermen who came together with the initial aim of purchasing fuel in bulk. This idea expanded, resulting in the group forming a sales company to sell their fish.

In 1983, the Co-op opened its first fish processing unit at the main pier in Castletownbere. Seven years later, it purchased the Riocht Fish Processing Plant in Dinish from the Hal-Lal group. The year 2004 saw the plant extended to 5000sq.m. where it can now process in large quantities, therefore reducing the number of links in the supply chain from fisherman to consumer.

Castletownbere Co-op operates its own processing plant which has 60 tonnes of chill, 200 tonnes of cold storage and 50 tonnes of freezing capacity. Over 40 years of trading in fish, it has built up markets for its products all over the world, from Japan to Africa, as well as Ireland and Europe.

The Co-op is owned exclusively by its members as a body, and built on a tradition of supplying quality seafood products from its state-of-the-art premises in Castletownbere.

Key Sustainability Commitments

Raw Material Sourcing

  • Reduce the amount of polystyrene lids purchased by 10% by the end of 2015.
  • Castletownbere Fishermen’s will continue to roll out Co-operative Fishing Vessel Standard (CTB FVS) which focuses on the implementation of various Environmental Management System standards and certifications for all Castletownbere suppliers.
  • Castletownbere are to become a key stakeholder in Fishery Improvement Projects with the aim of having all co-op vessels involved in FIP’s for their respective target species.

Manufacturing Processes

  • Reduce electricity use by 11% per unit of output.
  • Reduce water use by 8% per unit of output.
  • Reduce waste to landfill by 42% per unit of output.

Social Sustainability

  • Continue to support local causes including soccer clubs, GAA clubs and other worthy community initiatives. Castletownbere has donated a total of €15,000 to causes.
  • Keep staff updated on health and nutrition information via signage onsite, including allergen information, slimming classes, workout classes as well as information regarding mental health awareness, addiction advice groups and local counselling groups with the aim of improving overall employee health and well being.
  • Develop a visitor centre/interpretive centre in Castletownbere.

Unique Selling Points

The company has its own raw material source with approximately 100 member vessels landing fish to its facility.

The Co-op has nine Frozen at Sea factory vessels that source prawns in various fishing grounds, including the lucrative Porcupine Bank, Jones Bank and Labadie Bank. The vessels process these prawns, freeze them at sea and land them directly in Castletownbere where they are branded with the Castletownbere Co-op Logo, creating a premium product for the end consumer.

In addition to this, it provides a shelf life of up to two years on its vacuum-packed pelagic products.

Awards & Accreditations

  • Green Seafood Business of the Year 2017
  • Green Business of the Year 2017
  • BRC
  • MSC for herring and mackerel

To view website please upgrade your browser to its latest version