The Large Fish Indicator (LFI) is a size-based indicator of fish community state. The indicator describes the proportion by biomass of a fish community represented by fish larger than some size threshold. From an observed peak value of 0.49 in 1990, the Celtic Sea LFI declined until about 2000 and then fluctuated around 0.10 throughout the 2000s. This decline in the LFI reflected a period of diminishing ‘large’ fish biomass, probably related to high levels of size selective fishing. During the study period, fishing mortality was maintained at consistently high values. Average biomass of ‘small’ fish fluctuated across the whole time series, showing a weak positive trend in recent years. Inter-annual variation in the LFI was increasingly driven by fluctuation in small fish biomass as large fish biomass declined. Simulations using a size-based ecosystem model suggested that recovery in Celtic Sea fish community size-structure (LFI) could demand at least 20% reductions in fishing pressure and occur on decadal timescales.