Numbers and dates of operation of salmon hatcheries in Scotland 1830-2023: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Information requested

Information relating to the number of salmon hatcheries in use in Scotland from the years 1830-1900, and from 1900-the present, and the dates of operation of all or any of those hatcheries. We clarified your request on 6 February 2023 and you confirmed, on 8 February 2023, that the information being requested related only to those salmon hatcheries associated with the restocking of wild fish.


Please find attached extracted data from records held by Marine Scotland’s Fish Health Inspectorate.

The sites and businesses listed are those on the register of aquaculture production businesses which are identified as restocking sites and are involved in the transfer of fish or eggs into the wild environment. We have provided information which details when sites were first registered, if they are still in operation and, if not, when inactivation or deregistration occurred.

It is important to consider that the data provided captures information from a live database and represents records at the point of extraction or last update. Historically sites listed may have been operated under different names, by different business operators, operated for other purposes (for example the farming of fish for table production rather than wild fish restocking), and may have held different species to those currently listed.

Please be aware that the requirement to register fish farm sites originated through The Registration of Fish Farming and Shellfish Farming Businesses Order 1985. This was introduced for the purpose of obtaining information with a view to preventing the spread of disease. Prior to 1985 we do not hold comprehensive records of aquaculture sites, including those involved in the restocking of wild fish. Because of this, we are refusing parts of your request under the exception 10(4)(a) – information not held – further information is provided on this below.

In addition to the listed restocking sites, referred to above, we can also provide you with some further information through our corporate knowledge (as opposed to direct recorded information). The following sites have either been or are, involved in the restocking of fish into the wild to one level or another. These include the aquaculture production sites:

Howietoun Fishery (FS0298); The Solway Fishery (FS0187); Glenforsa Hatchery (FS1320); Morar Hatchery (FS0221); Rhubana Hatchery (FS0992); Loch Arkaig (FS0649) and Glennfinnan (FS0742).

Historically, research hatcheries, involved in restocking, have also been in operation in connection with our own Marine Laboratory (now part of Marine Scotland, but previously operating under different names). These include:

Almondbank (FS0942); the Compound connected to the Marine Scotland’s Faskally Freshwater Laboratory; Lussa in Kintyre and the Girnock Hatchery.

Additional details of registered sites (sites which have an assigned FS (Finfish Site) number) are provided within the attached spreadsheet, which also gives some explanation to some of the information provided.

It is likely that the extent of wild fish re-stocking, in relation to the time period of this request, is of a much more extensive nature than what has been detailed through this response. Fisheries Management Scotland may hold additional information and more comprehensive records of this activity throughout Scotland.

Exceptions apply
Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which it does not have. The Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested because as explained above we don’t hold comprehensive records of the information requested for the time period specified.

This exception is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. While we recognise that there may be some public interest in historical information about salmon hatcheries involved in wild fish re-stocking, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

202300340933_Information to release


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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