Scottish aquaculture farm. (Photo Credit: Fisheries & Aquaculture)
Scotland's salmon production hits highest level in a decade
Tuesday, October 07, 2014, 03:10 (GMT + 9)
Production of Scottish farmed salmon is at its highest level in a decade, according to new statistics released by the Scottish Government.
The Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2013 report reveals that production of Atlantic salmon increased by 1,011 tonnes (0.6 per cent) in 2013 to 163,234 tonnes, the highest recorded production since 2003. This result follows on from a 2.7 per cent increase in 2012.
The farmgate value of farmed salmon was GBP 677 million last year, an increase of 26 per cent compared to the previous year.
The report also indicates that production tonnage of rainbow trout decreased by 1 per cent in 2013 to 5,611 tonnes, while brown trout/sea trout production increased by two tonnes to 44 tonnes in 2013.
As for shellfish, in 2013, 6,757 tonnes of mussels were produced for the table market in Scotland, despite the toxin issues which caused a number of producers to voluntarily suspend commercial production for several months during 2013.
According to the Scottish Shellfish Farm Production Survey 2013, mussel and Pacific oysters remain the main species produced in terms of both value and tonnage. Mussel production increased by 8 per cent while Pacific oyster table production decreased by 30 per cent during 2013.
Production of Pacific oysters for on-growing has significantly increased (95 per cent) in 2013 as new markets, home and abroad, have been established.
There has been an increase in queen scallop production but a decrease in scallop production. Production for on-growing of both queens and scallops has increased since 2012.
Native oyster production dropped from 317,000 to 260,000 shells in 2013. The sector continues to target a strong niche market.
"Scotland’s Aquaculture sector is now estimated to be worth GBP 1.75 billion to the Scottish economy overall. If sustained, the sector, is well on its way to generating over GBP 2 billion annually for the Scottish economy and supporting 10,000 jobs by 2020 many of which are in some of Scotland’s most remote and rural communities," said the Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse.
"This success is underpinned by a robust regulatory framework in Scotland that is appropriate and strikes the right balance between growing the aquaculture sector and protecting the marine environment, enhanced by the Aquaculture & Fisheries Act (Scotland), which commenced in September 2013."