Has been known historically for its fishing industry. Led by the herring fishery, the catch peaked around the year 1894 with a peak catch of about 15 million fish per annum and employed 1280 people. Due to overfishing to serve the expanding regional population, the fishing industry declined and was almost cased to exist by 1939. Today, the town's main industry lies in marine services and tourism, with Dunnottar Castle being the most popular tourist attraction in the area.
There is also a very popular outdoor heated swimming pool, market square with various restaurants, cafes and shops, the harbour area and attractive small beach with large cliffs at either end, small rock pools and inlets. Stonehaven is perhaps also famous for its annual Fireball Festival. At Hogmanay, The High Street comes alive with crowds watching the fireballs ceremony, in which volunteers walking down the High Street swinging huge balls of fire around and around at the ends of chains, before being thrown into the harbour. The Stonehaven Highland Games is also a popular event as is the RW Thomson Classic Car Rally, Stonehaven Folk Festival and regular farmers markets.