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Aquaculture Fish Facts


Scottish finfish farming in numbers

Scottish finfish farming in numbers

In 2016, Scottish finfish farming in numbers show that freshwater production was undertaken by 26 businesses at 87 sites. The number of businesses operating increased by one and the number of active sites remained the same as in 2015.

The total number of smolts produced in 2016 decreased by 1,677,000 (4%) to 42.9 million. The number of ova laid down to hatch decreased by 5.6% to 64.3 million with the majority of these (90.8%) being derived from foreign sources. In 2016, 361,000 ova were exported.

The number of staff employed in freshwater salmon production remained the same as in 2015 with 294 persons, 252 full time and 42 part time.

In 2016, marine salmon production was undertaken by 15 businesses farming 253 active sites. This is a decrease of one business and one active site compared with 2015.

Total production during 2016 was 162,817 tonnes, representing a decrease of 8,905 tonnes (5.2%) on the 2015 figure.

The aquaculture industry have estimated an increase in the level of production for 2017 to 177,202 tonnes.

The total number of staff in marine salmon production in 2016 increased by 123 to 1,486. Full time staff increased by 123 to 1,379 whilst part time staffing remained at 107.

In 2016, rainbow trout production was carried out by 24 businesses operating 44 active sites, this was one site less than in 2015.

Total production in 2015 decreased by 492 tonnes (6%) to 8,096 tonnes. Production remained high as this is the second highest level of rainbow trout production recorded in Scotland.

The number of ova laid down to hatch decreased by 2,187,000 (18%) on the 2015 figure to 9,934,000. The proportion of ova from GB broodstock decreased to 3.9% of the total sourced. The number of fish imported to Scotland from outwith GB was 592,000 representing a decrease of 154,000 compared with 2015.

The number of staff employed in 2015 decreased by five to 121 persons. The number of full time staff decreased by 10 whilst part time staff increased by five. Productivity, measured as tonnes produced per person, decreased by 1.9% to 66.9.

There has been a continued interest in the diversification of aquaculture. In 2016, brown/sea trout decreased by one tonnes to 41 tonnes while halibut production increased by 11 tonnes to 67 tonnes.

Production estimates forecast an increase in brown/sea trout (92 tonnes) and halibut (80 tonnes) production in 2017.

In 2016, lumpsucker and various species of wrasse were cultured for use as a biological control for parasites in the marine Atlantic salmon industry, with 3.3 million and 5.2 million ova being laid down to hatch respectively.