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Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2014

This report is based on the returns of an annual survey questionnaire sent to all active authorised fish farming businesses in Scotland.

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5. Summary

Rainbow trout

The production of rainbow trout increased by 4.8% in 2014 to 5,882 tonnes and was directed at the table (90.6%) and restocking (9.4%) markets. The total numbers of staff employed by the sector increased by three to 113. There was an overall increase in the productivity of the industry to 52.1 tonnes per person.

In 2014, the number of eyed ova laid down to hatch (11 million) increased by 1.1 million and was mainly all-female diploid stock (75%). The proportion of ova from GB broodstock decreased to 6.0%. There was an increase in trade with Denmark (23.4% of total ova imported), the Isle of Man (9.4% of total ova imported) and Norway (6.6% of total ova imported). Northern Ireland was the largest source of imported ova with 44.7% of the total, although this was a decrease proportionally from 2013. There were no imports of ova from the Southern hemisphere during 2014. 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 2014, the total production of Atlantic salmon increased by 15,788 tonnes to 179,022 tonnes, a 9.7% increase on the 2013 production total. This follows a 0.6% increase in 2013 and is the highest production ever recorded in Scotland. The survey shows decreases in the production of grilse and pre-salmon but an increase in the production of salmon. The number of staff directly employed on the farms increased by 145. Overall, there was a decrease in the productivity of tonnes produced per person from 138.3 to 135.1. The estimated harvest forecast for 2015 of 186,508 tonnes shows the continuing growth of the industry. The trend towards concentrating production in larger sites was maintained with 82% of production being concentrated in the sites producing over 1,000 tonnes per annum.

During 2014 there was a decrease in the number of ova produced to 33.5 million. The number of ova laid down to hatch increased by 6.4% to 70.8 million. This highlights the trend towards using foreign ova sources with 75.8% of the ova laid down to hatch being imported and only 24.2% derived from Great British sources. Smolt production increased to 45 million, with the majority being produced as S1 smolts(49.9%) or S½ smolts (49.7%) and the remainder as S1½ smolts (0.4%). The number of staff directly employed on freshwater sites increased by 24 and productivity increased to 145,600 fish per person. Projections suggest that slightly fewer smolts will be produced in 2015, followed by an increase in 2016.

Other Species

There was an increase in the production of brown/sea trout from 44 tonnes in 2013 to 48 tonnes in 2014. Halibut production increased by 10 tonnes and there was no reported production of Arctic charr. Lumpsucker and wrasse were produced for use as biological controls for parasites in the marine Atlantic salmon farming industry. In 2014, the total number of staff employed in the production of other species decreased by one to 49.

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