Aquaculture is a key sector contributing to sustainable economic growth in Scotland. It provides skilled employment, particularly in some of our most fragile and remote rural and coastal communities and has significant potential to contribute further.
The Scottish aquaculture industry primarily produces Atlantic salmon, but also significant quantities of Rainbow trout and mussels, as shown in figure 1.
Figure 1: Aquaculture sectors by production value (2015)
The estimated total turnover of the sector in 2016, including finfish and shellfish production, was around 179,000 tonnes worth an estimated £797 million (at farm gate prices). Of this, farmed Atlantic salmon production was worth £765 million (at farm gate prices) in 2016, and export sales were worth around £600 million. Salmon is Scotland’s top food export.
Much of aquaculture production is focused on the West and North of the country. It supports remote and rural communities in those areas and provides around 2,100 jobs (full-time equivalent) directly.
The Scottish Government supports the sustainable growth of aquaculture through the Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group as it seeks to deliver the industry’s growth strategy to double production tonnage and turnover across the supply chain by 2030.
Chart 1: Annual aquaculture production, 1997-2016, tonnes (000s)
Source : Marine Scotland