The fishing fleet consists of about 240 vessels above 20 GRT, ranging from small, wooden coastal vessels to the most sophisticated ocean-going factory trawlers. There are also about 1.000 smaller craft.
The main commercial species of fish caught in Faroese waters, are demersal (ground fish) species such as cod, haddock, coalfish, and redfish, pelagic species as herring and mackerel, and semi-pelagic or deepwater species like argentine and blue whiting.
Most of these catches are landed in the Faroe Islands. In distant waters (Barents Sea, Svalbard, Canada, Greenland) the main species are cod and shrimp, which are processed on board. In middle waters, notably the North Sea west of Britain the main species are blue whiting, mackerel, herring, Norway pout and sand eel, which are landed in the Faroe Islands or abroad. In Icelandic waters various demersal species are caught, as well as capelin and herring.
The catches of demersal fish landed in the Faroe Islands are either exported fresh or processed into fresh fillets, frozen fillets or wet salted fish. Other species are processed into fish meal and oil, or feed for the fish farms. The primary export markets are Denmark (shrimp), Great Britain (Cod and haddock), Germany, France (coly, redfish, black halibut), the Mediterranean countries (salted fish), USA (frozen cod and haddock) and Japan (shrimps, trout).