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Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2016

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2. Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) - Ova and Smolts

Production survey information was collected from all 26 companies actively involved in the freshwater production of Atlantic salmon, farming 87 active sites. This figure represents the entire freshwater industry operating in Scotland.

Company and Site Data

Table 12: Number of companies and sites in production during 2007-2016

Year No. of companies No. of sites
2007 37 135
2008 38 130
2009 30 105
2010 31 104
2011 28 98
2012 28 100
2013 27 102
2014 26 96
2015 25 87
2016 26 87

In 2016 the number of companies authorised by the Scottish Government for freshwater production of Atlantic salmon increased by one to 26. A total of 87 sites were actively engaged in commercial production, which remained the same as the 2015 figure.

Production and Staffing

Table 13: Number (000's) of smolts produced, staff employed and smolt productivity during 2006-2016

Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Number (000's) of smolts produced 40,827 38,125 36,450 36,868 36,872 43,626 44,324 40,457 45,004 44,571 42,894
Staffing Full-time 209 217 209 216 233 225 235 237 244 239 252
Part-time 62 62 54 54 56 68 93 48 65 55 42
Total 271 279 263 270 289 293 328 285 309 294 294
Productivity, 000's of smolts per person 150.6 136.6 138.6 136.5 127.6 148.9 135.1 142.0 145.6 151.6 145.9

Smolt production in 2016 decreased by 4% compared to 2015. The number of staff employed in 2016 remained the same and productivity decreased by 3.8% to a figure of 145.9 smolts produced per person. Data for staffing and productivity in 2013 are shown, however, there are uncertainties with these data due to consolidation within the industry.

Smolts by Age Group

Table 14: Number of smolts (000's) produced by type during 2004-2016

Year S1 S1½ S2 Total
2004 14,428 24,862 709 0 39,999
2005 12,639 22,197 1,489 1 36,326
2006 16,953 23,172 698 4 40,827
2007 15,431 22,694 0 0 38,125
2008 12,431 24,019 0 0 36,450
2009 13,837 23,031 0 0 36,868
2010 14,116 22,756 0 0 36,872
2011 17,233 26,393 0 0 43,626
2012 18,795 25,239 290 0 44,324
2013 19,024 21,279 154 0 40,457
2014 22,367 22,473 164 0 45,004
2015 23,850 20,711 10 0 44,571
2016 25,072 17,822 0 0 42,894

In 2016, there was an increase (5.1%) in the number of S½ smolts produced but a decrease (13.9%) in the number of S1 smolts produced. There was no production of S1½ and S2 smolts in 2016.

Production Systems

Table 15: Number and capacity of production systems during 2012-2016

System No. of sites with system Total capacity, 000's cubic metres
Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Cages 43 44 41 38 38 349 372 351 355 400
Tanks and Raceways 57 58 55 49 49 51 64 65 47 46
Total 100 102 96 87 87 400 436 416 402 446

The principal types of facility used for the production of smolts in freshwater are cages or tanks and raceways. In 2016, the number of farms using cages and tanks and raceways remained the same as in 2015. In terms of volume, cage capacity increased by 45,000 m³ and tank and raceway capacity decreased by 1,000 m³. This resulted in a net increase in volume of 44,000 m³ available for the production of smolts in Scotland during 2016.

Table 16: Number (000's) of smolts produced and stocking densities by production system during 2012-2016

Number of smolts produced (000's) Stocking densities (smolts/m3)
Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Cages 26,882 20,910 22,816 18,135 15,884 77 56 65 51 40
All others 17,442 19,547 22,188 26,436 27,010 342 305 341 562 587
Total 44,324 40,457 45,004 44,571 42,894 - - - - -

The average stocking densities of cages decreased from 51 to 40 fish per m³ in 2016 compared to 2015 while densities in tanks and raceways increased from 562 to 587 fish per m³.

Ova Production

Table 17: Number (000's) of salmon ova produced during 2009-2016

Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
No. of ova 91,964 91,655 78,208 57,489 56,904 33,450 11,605 13,689

In 2016, 13.7 million ova were stripped, an increase of 18% from the number of ova produced in 2015.

Table 18: Source, number (000's) and previous year's estimate of ova laid down to hatch during 2005-2017

Year In-house broodstock Out-sourced GB broodstock GB wild broodstock Foreign ova Total Previous year's estimate
2005 43,261 22,465 71 9,896 75,693 65,741
2006 19,063 17,768 63 27,157 64,051 58,385
2007 18,837 14,366 78 42,022 75,303 68,032
2008 19,831 14,261 171 26,409 60,672 75,302
2009 17,148 20,158 65 30,200 67,571 64,693
2010 13,744 26,220 0 29,657 69,621 61,011
2011 15,664 14,630 0 34,322 64,616 54,526
2012 18,556 9,981 0 34,700 63,237 55,723
2013 16,996 8,263 0 41,315 66,573 49,249
2014 14,418 2,725 10 53,684 70,837 48,149
2015 6,479 223 10 61,463 68,175 65,284
2016 5,884 4 0 58,458 64,346 59,604
2017   60,673

The number of ova laid down to hatch was 64.3 million, a decrease of 3.9 million (5.6%) on the 2015 figure. The majority of the ova (90.8%) were derived from foreign sources, this being a decrease of 3.0 million (4.9%) on the 2015 figure. Supplies derived from GB broodstock decreased by 0.8 million, a 12.1% decrease on the 2015 figure. No ova from GB wild broodstock were laid down in 2016, however, in previous years the ova derived from wild stocks were generally held and hatched for wild stock enhancement by the aquaculture industry in cooperation with wild fisheries managers.

Smolts Produced and Put to Sea

Table 19: Actual and projected smolt production and smolts put to sea (millions) during 2007-2018

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Actual smolts put to sea 37.8 36.6 38.5 38.5 42.7 41.1 40.9 48.1 45.5 43.0  
Smolts produced 38.1 36.4 36.9 36.9 43.6 44.3 40.5 45.0 44.6 42.9
Estimated production 41.2 34.9 32.6 28.7 35.9 31.3 28.1 39.9 43.4 36.6 39.3 43.3
Ratio of ova laid down to smolts produced 2.0 1.7 1.8 1.9 1.5 1.4 1.6 1.6 1.5 1.5  

The figure for the number of smolts put to sea includes smolts produced in England and fish imported from elsewhere, whereas smolt production data relate only to those produced in Scotland. Farmers estimate putting 39.3 million smolts to sea in 2017. The ratio of ova laid down to hatch to smolts produced in 2016 was same as the ratio in 2015.

Scale of Production

Table 20: Smolt-producing sites grouped by numbers (000's) of smolts produced during 2003‑2016

Year Scale of production No. of sites in production Total smolts produced
1-10 11-25 26-50 51-100 101-250 251-500 501-1,000 >1,000
2003 2 0 7 20 32 31 12 10 114 44,414
2004 3 3 9 14 31 22 18 7 107 39,999
2005 2 1 4 15 25 22 21 4 94 36,326
2006 1 4 2 9 19 21 18 10 84 40,827
2007 2 2 4 7 21 21 14 11 82 38,125
2008 2 1 5 8 21 20 15 9 81 36,450
2009 0 0 3 7 14 18 10 12 64 36,868
2010 1 0 4 4 16 15 10 14 64 36,872
2011 1 0 4 5 11 14 9 17 61 43,626
2012 0 0 1 3 19 14 11 13 61 44,324
2013 1 0 1 7 14 14 7 14 58 40,457
2014 0 0 2 1 11 9 14 13 50 45,004
2015 1 1 2 4 9 11 16 11 55 44,571
2016 1 1 0 3 7 11 13 12 48 42,894

Note: These data refer only to sites producing smolts. The sites holding only ova, fry or parr are excluded.

The number of sites producing smolts in 2016 was 48. The number of sites producing less than 101,000 smolts has decreased by three and there has also been a decrease of five in the number of sites producing between 101,000 and one million smolts. The number of sites producing in excess of one million smolts per year increased by one.

Production of Ova and Smolt by Production Area

Table 21: Staffing in 2016, ova laid down to hatch in 2015-2016, smolt production in 2015-2016 and estimated production in 2017-2018 by region

Region Number of staff employed in 2016 Ova laid down to hatch (000's) Smolt production (000's) Estimated smolt production (000's)
F/T P/T 2015 2016 2015 2016 2017 2018
North West 132 29 36,668 31,637 24,788 23,787 17,036 21,531
Orkney 1 3 55 0 142 150 150 150
Shetland 26 0 7,473 7,834 3,372 3,428 5,300 5,300
West 63 8 17,433 17,363 9,625 10,386 11,289 11,160
Western Isles 22 2 5,596 6,460 4,823 3,785 4,382 4,450
East and South 8 0 950 1,052 1,821 1,358 1,127 720
All Scotland 252 42 68,175 64,346 44,571 42,894 39,284 43,311

In 2016, the North West and the West were the main areas where ova were laid down to hatch. The North West, the West and the Western Isles were the main smolt producing areas. The greatest number of staff were employed in the North West region.

International Trade in Ova

Since the introduction of the EU single market on 1st January 1993 and the associated Fish Health Regulations common to all EU member states, a trade in live salmon and ova has been established. In addition, the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement allows trade between the EU and the member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Trade is based on the same rules as are established within the EU regarding compartments and zones declared free from listed diseases.

Trade with Third Countries has also been established, but only from sites that have met the same health standards as are established within the EU regarding the approval of farms and zones for listed diseases. Exports to countries outside the EU are subject to the health conditions placed by the importing country. Marine Scotland Science advises potential exporters to ascertain with the importing country any specific health testing requirements that may be a condition of import.

Figure 2: The distribution of active Atlantic salmon smolt sites in 2016

Figure 2: The distribution of active Atlantic salmon smolt sites in 2016

Imports and Exports

Table 22a: Source and number (000's) of salmon ova, parr and smolts imported during 2004-2016 derived from health certificates

Import Year Ova Parr and Smolts
EU Member States EFTA Third Countries Total EU Member States EFTA - Norway
Iceland Norway Australia USA
2004 4,450 3,475 6,750 1,860 450 16,985 824 0
2005 2,610 570 13,210 0 450 16,840 150 0
2006 11,575 300 15,940 2,400 0 30,215 375 0
2007 10,511 0 33,555 0 0 44,066 420 0
2008 5,600 0 22,703 0 0 28,303 519 0
2009 5,460 0 29,938 0 0 35,398 328 0
2010 2,150 0 26,533 0 0 28,683 452 0
2011 3,400 0 35,851 0 0 39,251 800 0
2012 10,134 0 23,849 0 0 33,983 0 0
2013 10,700 2,719 35,044 0 0 48,463 55 0
2014 5,218 3,813 49,831 0 0 58,862 1,602 1,748
2015 4,815 8,978 45,926 0 0 59,719 2,118 365
2016 5,444 5,324 38,602 0 0 49,370 1,956 0

The numbers of ova imported decreased by 17.3%. The number of parr and smolts imported decreased from that observed in 2015, with only 1.9 million parr and smolts imported from EU member states.

Table 22b: Destination and number (000's) of salmon ova, parr and smolts exported during 2005-2016 derived from health certificates

Export year Farmed origin ova Total Parr and Smolts
Chile EU Norway Others
2005 8,560 3,130 0 1,566 13,256 1,362
2006 26,930 4,312 0 0 31,242 998
2007 32,150 164 0 0 32,314 2,169
2008 62,185 130 0 15 62,330 551
2009 7,181 317 0 0 7,498 89
2010 0 189 600 0 789 130
2011 0 0 0 820 820 183
2012 0 0 0 0 0 55
2013 0 650 0 0 650 404
2014 0 0 0 0 0 259
2015 0 93 0 2 95 8
2016 0 335 0 23 361 173

In 2016, 361,000 ova were exported. Parr and smolt exports increased by 165,000 fish on the 2015 figure.

Vaccines

Table 23: Number of sites using vaccines and number (millions) of fish vaccinated during 2008-2016

Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
No. of sites 80 68 70 67 63 63 56 55 47
No. of fish (millions) vaccinated 36.7 39.6 42.6 49.2 48.1 47.5 44.7 48.0 42.6

Vaccines were used to provide protection against furunculosis, infectious pancreatic necrosis (IPN), ERM, vibriosis and salmonid alphavirus (SAV). The majority of fish were vaccinated against furunculosis and IPN, with smaller numbers of fish being vaccinated against ERM, vibriosis and SAV. A total of 42.6 million fish were vaccinated across 47 sites.

Escapes

In 2016, there were no reported escapes from sites rearing freshwater Atlantic salmon.