Ílhavo is deeply connected with the fishing of codfish.
These connections of Ílhavo with the sea can be seen in the Museum Maritímo de Ílhavo, for besides the building, they have the only surviving tug of fishing of the cod. The ship makes integrant part of the Museum and provides lodging for temporary exhibitions. Also, next to the Museum it is possible to see a codfish aquarium. The recently renovated Maritime Museum of Ilhavo is dedicated to the White Fleet fisheries and to the Ria de Aveiro fishermen.
The city of Ílhavo is also famous for the industry of porcelain Vista Alegre, the porcelain company, was founded in the city, where it has its factory. Almost 200 years ago an entrepreneur and visionary Jose Ferreira Pinto Basto opened what is today known as one of the most prestigious porcelain brands in the world, Vista Alegre Factory in Ilhavo, Portugal.
It all started in 1815, right next to the lagoon of Aveiro. The location was carefully chosen as the soil of the region is rich in the essential manufacturing elements of porcelain and glass, such as fuels, clay, white and thin sands and crystallised pebbles.