Aquaculture is an increasingly important industry for Scotland, helping to sustain economic growth in the rural and coastal communities of the north and west. Involving the farming or culturing of fish, molluscs, crustaceans and seaweed, aquaculture produces our most valuable food export. The Scottish aquaculture industry is led by Atlantic salmon farming, but also produces significant quantities of Rainbow trout and mussels.


  • we support the sustainable growth of the aquaculture sector through the fish farm consents regime.
  • managing aquaculture fish health to reduce the risk of loss because of disease
  • supporting a healthy and sustainable Scottish aquaculture industry through world-leading science and research.
  • recognising that the seaweed cultivation sector offers significant commercial potential


Joint ministerial statement on supporting aquaculture growth and protecting Scotland's environment.

We published Scotland's 10 Year Farmed Fish Health: strategic framework in May 2018. More information about the background to the development of the strategy 

We support the Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group as it seeks to deliver the industry’s growth strategy by 2030.

The group was established in December 2017 to deliver a farmed fish health framework for Scotland, a Programme for Government commitment for 2017-2018. Scotland’s 10 Year Farmed Fish Health Framework was published on 23 May 2018.

On 20 October 2009, the International Aquaculture Science and Research Day was held in Glasgow.  Find out more about EU and International Aquaculture.

Find out more about women in Scottish Aquaculture.

Bills and legislation

The Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2013 ensures that farmed and wild fisheries - and their interactions with each other - continue to be managed effectively, maximising their combined contribution to supporting sustainable economic growth with due regard to the wider marine environment.

The Act also aims to amend the Fisheries Act 1981 and modernise existing enforcement provisions to ensure that sufficient powers are in place to enable British Sea Fishery Officers to:

  • enforce sea fisheries regulations
  • introduce legislative provisions to safeguard shellfish waters protected areas
  • make provision for charges to a number of fishery functions
  • extend the scope of offences that could be subject to a Fixed Penalty Notice

Background to the development of the Act is in our website archive. 

Scotland's fish, molluscs and crustaceans are protected by legislation including the Aquatic Animal Health (Scotland) Regulations 2009. This requires the owner or any person attending aquatic animals, veterinarians or any person with an occupational relationship with the aquatic animals to report the symptoms of certain diseases to the Fish Health Inspectorate.

Ministerial Group for Sustainable Aquaculture

Key outputs:



Telephone: 0300 244 4000


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