On 1st January 2018, the national fishing fleet consists of 7,947 vessels with a total gross tonnage capacity of 90 449 GT and a total power capacity of 351 013 kW distributed through the Continent (MFL) and the Autonomous Regions of the Azores (RAA) and Madeira (RAM). The national fishing fleet is characterized by a prevalence of small-scale fishing vessels, where about 90% of the registered units have an overall length of less than 12 meters and a reduced gross tonnage, which together represents only 13% of the national total. The average age of the registered fleet is around 33 years and, in terms of licensed fleet, around 24 years. The national fishing fleet is classified into:
- Local Fishing - Small vessels (up to 9 meters length overall) that operate in oceanic and non-maritime inland waters. The maximum permissible propulsion power is 75 kW (100hp)
- Coastal Fishing - Larger vessels (length overall of more than 9 meters and equal or less than 33 meters) and autonomy established according to the area of operation fixed for every vessel. The permissible propulsion engine power is equal or more than 26 kW (35 h.p.)
- Largo Fishing - Vessels with a tonnage capacity of more 100 GT and a minimum autonomy of 15 days operating beyond 12 nautical miles.
The vessels in the national fishing fleet have been registered in the European Union database since 1989, which has a wealth of information on the EU fishing fleet.