4 Aquaculture (Finfish and Shellfish)
4.1 Spatial Extent and Intensity of Activity and Interests
4.1.1 Aquaculture involves the farming or culturing of fish, molluscs, crustaceans and seaweed. Shellfish aquaculture relates to the production of marine shellfish within aquaculture installations excluding cultivated shellfish beds, which are covered under the commercial fishing chapter. It also includes long-line cultivation of mussels and oyster cultivation on shoreline trestles. Finfish aquaculture relates to the production of marine finfish species within aquaculture installations for food for human and other consumption. Figure 3 shows the aquaculture sites in the PFOW area.
4.1.2 According to Scottish Finfish  and Shellfish  Farm Production Survey there are 29 aquaculture sites (22 finfish and 7 shellfish) located within the PFOW area. In 2013, there were 6 active shellfish sites (and 5 businesses) located on Orkney, 2 of which were producing (harvesting for market). Active sites are defined as farms which are in a production growth cycle, which may include holding stock or a routine fallow period. There were 27 companies actively involved in the freshwater production of Atlantic salmon (ova and smolts) across Scotland, farming 102 active sites. There were 21 companies actively involved in Atlantic salmon production across Scotland, farming 257 active sites.
Figure 3 Active Aquaculture Sites in the PFOW Area 
4.2 Economic value and employment
4.2.1 In 2013 there was no production ( i.e. harvesting for market) from Orkney shellfish sites. There are a number of reasons why sites may not be currently producing shellfish for market. Sites may for example hold stocks that are not yet ready for market, be fallow, or be positioned in remote areas where cost-effective production and marketing is difficult.
Table 8 Scottish Shellfish Production by Production Area, 2013 
|Region||Businesses||Mussel (tonnes)||Pacific oyster (000s)||Native oyster (000s)||Queen (000s)||Scallop (000s)|
|Table ||On-growing ||Table||On-growing||Table||On-growing||Table||On-growing||Table||On-growing|
4.2.2 Orkney shellfish sites employed 3 workers in 2013 (2 on a part-time basis and 1 on a causal basis). This accounted for 0.9% of total Scottish shellfish employment.
Table 9 Scottish Shellfish Employment by Production Area, 2013 
4.2.3 Data are available and are presented for shellfish sites in the Highlands. However, it should be noted that, unlike data for Orkney, the data for the Highland region do not offer good spatial precision (for the purposes of this review) for disclosure reasons which makes it largely inadequate for analysis relating specifically to the PFOW area.
4.2.4 Orkney salmon ova (eggs) and smolt (juvenile salmon ready to be transferred or to migrate to sea) production sites employed 2 workers in 2013 (1 on a full-time basis and 1 on a part-time basis). Sites involved in the production of ova and smolts across Scotland as a whole employed 285 workers.
Table 10 Employment and Production of Ova and Smolts by Production Area, 2013 
|Region||Employment||Ova laid down to hatch (000s)||Smolt production (000s)|
4.2.5 Orkney Atlantic salmon production sites employed 78 workers in 2013 (76 on a full-time basis and 2 on a part-time basis). This accounted for 7.1% of Scottish Atlantic salmon production employment. The annual production of Atlantic salmon from Orkney sites accounted for 7.0% of total Scottish production in 2013. The number of smolts put to sea by Orkney sites accounted for 5.1% of the Scottish total in 2013.
Table 11 Atlantic Salmon Manpower and Production by Production Area, 2013 
|Region||Employment||Annual Production||Productivity (t/person)|
Table 12 Number of Smolts Put to Sea by Region, 2013 
|Region||Smolts put to sea (000s)|
4.2.6 Data are available and are presented for finfish sites in the North West region. However, it should be noted that, unlike data for Orkney, the data for the North West region do not offer good spatial precision (for the purposes of this review) due to disclosure reasons and are largely inadequate for analysis relating to the PFOW area.
4.3 Historic and future trends
4.3.1 The Scottish Government supports Scotland's aquaculture industry to achieve sustainable growth targets, with due regard for the marine environment. The targets are, by 2020, to increase:
- marine finfish production sustainably to 210,000 tonnes
- shellfish production (especially mussels) to 13,000 tonnes
4.3.2 According to Scottish Shellfish Farm Production Survey shellfish table production has, over the last 10 years, remained broadly consistent.  Oyster, queen and scallop table production has fallen by 54.6% over this period while mussel production has increased by 60.0%. Revenue from shellfish production has, over the last 10 years, increased by 36.1% in real terms from £6.5m to £8.9m, though this masks trends across species. The number of authorised shellfish aquaculture businesses in Scotland has fallen from 175 in 2004 to 142 in 2013.
4.3.3 According to Marine Scotland data smolt production has, over the last 10 years, remained broadly consistent. Ova production has, over the same time period, fallen by 55.8%. The number of authorised finfish aquaculture businesses involved in the production of ova and smolts in Scotland has fallen from 48 in 2004 to 27 in 2013. The number of sites engaged in the production ova and smolts has fallen from 172 in 2004 to 102 in 2013.
4.3.4 According to Marine Scotland data Atlantic salmon production has, over the last 10 years, remained broadly consistent. Atlantic salmon revenue, in real terms, increased by 90.6% between 2004 and 2013, from around £355m to around £677m. The number of businesses engaged in the production of Atlantic salmon has fallen from 69 in 2004 to 21 in 2013. The number of sites engaged in the production of Atlantic salmon has fallen from 315 in 2004 to 257 in 2013.
4.3.5 Employment across the aquaculture sector has, over the last 10 years, fallen by 11.8% from just over 2,100 to just under 1,900. In 2013, 80.8% for aquaculture employment was on a full-time basis. 16.5% was on a part-time basis with the remaining on a casual basis.
4.4 Data Gaps and Limitations
4.4.1 Marine Scotland Science production surveys  offer a comprehensive overview of aquaculture production and employment within Scotland. For Orkney the spatial precision of such data are good as Orkney is defined in its own right as a production area. For the Northern Highlands component of the PFOW area the spatial precision is not available due to disclosure reasons. This component of the PFOW area is classified under the Highland or North West production area making it largely inadequate for analysis relating to the PFOW area.
4.4.2 Marine Scotland Science production surveys collect data primarily on the volume of production. With the exception of farm gate value estimates present in the Scottish Shellfish Farm Production Survey there are limited data collected on the value of this production. In order to value aquaculture production activity, and hence estimate the economic contribution the sector makes, assumptions have to be made regarding prices and costs. More geographic-specific data on these economic metrics would be helpful in better assessing the value that the sector adds to the local economy.
4.4.3 Beyond the available data sources which cover the aquaculture sector a key data gap is the extent to which there is a dependency on aquaculture sites, particularly in rural areas. Recent research conducted for Marine Scotland  provides an overview of the value of aquaculture to Scotland and Scottish communities, including some specific detailed case studies, but otherwise detailed regional-level data and analyses are limited. Understanding such linkages between aquaculture activity and other onshore businesses and communities is crucial in order to better contextualise available production and employment data.
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