6. Seafood processing
The seafood processing industry is defined in SABS as the "Processing and preserving of fish, crustaceans and molluscs". In this publication, SABS information on seafood processing is used as the source data. Seafish publishes the processing data they collect in the processing inquiry tool which presents economic values for the processing of sea fish. Summary and background information is also available on the Seafish website. However, methodological differences mean that the SABS data allows for better comparisons with other industry results (see the Methodology section).
While fish processing is predominantly a terrestrial activity, the bulk of processing in Scotland is highly dependent on fish landed from Scottish waters. Therefore fish processing has been included in the definition of the marine economy.
6.2 Key economic points
In 2018, Seafood processing generated £338 million GVA: accounting for 0.24% of the overall Scottish economy and 8% of the marine economy GVA. Seafood processing provided employment for 7,600 people (headcount), contributing 0.29% to total Scottish employment and 10% to marine economy employment.
6.3 Seafood processing – trends
In 2018, the GVA from seafood processing (adjusted to 2018 prices) decreased by 14% from the previous year, while the longer term trend from 2009 to 2018 showed that seafood processing GVA decreased by 2%. Employment decreased by 8% between 2009 and 2018.
|Year||GVA||Turnover||Employment||GVA Per Head|
6.4 Seafood processing by geography
The Food Standards Agency publish a full list of establishments approved to handle, prepare or produce products of animal origin, including fish processing plants. This information was used to provide the number of fish processing businesses in Scotland by local authority. It does not consider volume of throughput, or type of fish.
As of January 2019, there were 284 registered fish processing plants in Scotland. The three local authorities with the highest number of plants were Aberdeenshire (52), Highland (42) and Aberdeen City (37).