Publication - Statistics

Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2013

Published: 6 Oct 2014
Part of:
Marine and fisheries

The annual production survey of fish farms in Scotland for 2013 was carried out by Marine Scotland Science (MSS). This survey collates annual production data from Scottish fin fish farm sites operated by authorised aquaculture production businesses.

Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2013


Rainbow trout

The production of rainbow trout decreased by 1% in 2013 to 5,611 tonnes and was directed at the table (89.1%) and restocking (10.9%) markets. The total numbers of staff employed by the sector increased by three to 110. There was a slight decrease in the productivity of the industry to 51.0 tonnes per person.

In 2013, the number of eyed ova laid down to hatch (9.9 million) decreased by 3.1 million and was mainly all-female diploid stock (80%). The proportion of ova from GB broodstock increased to 6.2%. There was an increase in trade with the USA (24.1% of total ova imported) and the Isle of Man (8.2% of total ova imported). Northern Ireland was the largest source of imported ova with 52.5% of the total, although this was a decrease proportionally from 2012. There is a continued high dependence of the Scottish trout industry on imported ova, however, imports of part-grown fish have also increased.

Atlantic salmon

In 2013, the total production of Atlantic salmon increased by 1,011 tonnes to 163,234 tonnes, a 0.6% increase on the 2012 production total. This follows a 2.7% increase in 2012 and is the highest production recorded since 2003. The survey shows decreases in the production of grilse and salmon but an increase in the production of pre-salmon. The number of staff directly employed on the farms increased by 27. Overall, there was a decrease in the productivity of tonnes produced per person from 153.2 to 150.3. The estimated harvest forecast for 2014 of 162,374 tonnes is similar to the tonnage produced in 2013. The trend towards concentrating production in larger sites was maintained with 78% of production being concentrated in the sites producing over 1,000 tonnes per annum.

In 2013, there was a slight decrease in the number of ova produced to 56.9 million. The number of ova laid down to hatch increased by 5.3% to 66.6 million. This highlights the trend towards using foreign ova sources with 62.1% of the ova laid down to hatch being imported. The main sources of imported ova were Norway (72.3%, of total ova imported) and Northern Ireland (22.1% of total ova imported). Smolt production decreased to 40.5 million a drop of 8.7% compared with 2012. The number of staff directly employed on freshwater sites decreased by 43 and productivity increased to 142,000 fish per person, however, due to consolidation within the industry there are uncertainties with these staffing and productivity figures. Projections suggest that slightly fewer smolts will be produced in 2014, followed by an increase in 2015.

Other Species

There was an increase in the production of brown/sea trout from 42 tonnes in 2012 to 44 tonnes in 2013. Halibut production decreased and there was no reported production of Arctic charr. Wrasse used as biological controls for parasites in the marine Atlantic salmon farming industry continued to be produced. In 2013, the total number of staff employed in the production of other species increased by four to 50.