Scotland National Strategy for Economic Transformation: industry leadership groups and sector groups - evidence

This paper provides summary evidence received from Scotland's industry leadership groups and other economic sector groups as part of the National Strategy for Economic Transformation engagement process.

2. Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group

Figure 2.1 – Turnover and GVA of the Scottish Aquaculture Sector [3]
Figure 2.2 – Employment of the Scottish Aquaculture Sector [4]

Industry Aspirations to 2030

The industry has ambition to double the value of the sector from 2014-15 levels (£750 million to £1.5 billion). Individual companies will have corresponding targets.

Industry Opportunities

The industry has the opportunity to benefit from:

  • sustained growth in demand for salmon. Scottish salmon is niche product in the market and Scotland’s produce is in a position to capitalise on this. There are also opportunities for other species, e.g. – trout and shellfish;
  • strong markets in the US, in China and the Middle East; and,
  • the environment to grow production sustainably, with farms in Shetland, Orkney, Highland, Western Isles and Argyll and Bute continuing to benefit from ongoing investment and activity.

Industry Challenges

The main challenges for the aquaculture industry are:

  • declining market share; since 2010 the Scottish share of the global salmon market has declined from 10 per cent to 6.5 per cent. Competitors are growing at several times the Scottish industry rate of growth. At current trends, Scotland’s share of the global market could be as low as 3% by 2030;
  • lack of affordable housing in areas where the industry has opportunities to establish and grow. Salmon farm companies have had to buy accommodation for their workers because of housing shortages; and,
  • labour and skills shortages constraining both farm production and processing activities.

Ongoing and Planned Activity for Industry

The industry aims to work more closely with key education providers (e.g., Scotland’s Rural College and University of Highlands and Islands) to develop and promote aquaculture qualifications and courses, which should encourage more young people to stay in the Highlands and Islands region to work.



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