Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2015

Report based on the returns of an annual survey questionnaire sent to all active authorised fish farming businesses.

This document is part of a collection

6. Summary

Rainbow trout

The production of rainbow trout increased by 46% in 2015 to 8,588 tonnes and was directed at the table (94%) and restocking (6%) markets. This was the highest ever level of rainbow trout production recorded in Scotland and was mostly due to increased marine production (4,678 tonnes compared to 1,909 tonnes in 2014). The total numbers of staff employed by the sector increased by 13 to 126. There was an overall increase in the productivity of the industry to 68.2 tonnes per person.

In 2015, the number of eyed ova laid down to hatch (12.1 million) increased by 1.1 million and was mainly all-female diploid stock (85%). The proportion of ova from GB broodstock increased to 7.4%. There was a decrease in trade with Denmark (20.5% of total ova imported), the Isle of Man (1.5% of total ova imported) and Norway (5.9% of total ova imported). Northern Ireland was the largest source of imported ova with 57.4% of the total, this was an increase proportionally from 2014. There were no imports of ova from the Southern hemisphere during 2015. 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 2015, the total production of Atlantic salmon decreased by 7,300 tonnes to 171,722 tonnes, a 4.1% decrease on the 2014 production total. This follows a 9.7% increase in 2014 and is the second highest production ever recorded in Scotland. The survey shows increases in the production of grilse and pre-salmon but a decrease in the production of salmon. The number of staff directly employed on the farms increased by 38. Overall, there was a decrease in the productivity of tonnes produced per person from 135.1 to 126.0. The estimated harvest forecast for 2016 is 177,857 tonnes. The trend towards concentrating production in larger sites was maintained with 82.4% of production being concentrated in the sites producing over 1,000 tonnes per annum.

During 2015 there was a decrease in the number of ova produced to 11.6 million. The number of ova laid down to hatch decreased by 3.8% to 68.2 million. This highlights the trend towards using foreign ova sources with 90.2% of the ova laid down to hatch being imported and only 9.8% derived from Great British sources. Smolt production decreased slightly to 44.6 million, with the majority being produced as S½ smolts (53.5%), S1 smolts (46.5%) and the remainder as S1½ smolts (0.02%). The number of staff directly employed on freshwater sites decreased by 15 and productivity increased to 151,600 fish per person. Projections suggest that fewer smolts will be produced in 2016, followed by an increase in 2017.

Other Species

There was a decrease in the production of brown/sea trout from 48 tonnes in 2014 to 42 tonnes in 2015. Halibut production decreased by 10 tonnes and there was no reported production of Cod. Lumpsucker and wrasse were produced for use as biological controls for parasites in the marine Atlantic salmon farming industry. In 2015, the total number of staff employed in the production of other species increased by one to 50.


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