Publication - Statistics

Scottish fish farm production survey 2016

Published: 18 Sep 2017
Marine Scotland Directorate
Part of:
Marine and fisheries

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

56 page PDF

2.5 MB

56 page PDF

2.5 MB

Scottish fish farm production survey 2016
6. Summary

56 page PDF

2.5 MB

6. Summary

Rainbow trout

The production of rainbow trout decreased by 6% in 2016 to 8,096 tonnes and was directed at the table (92%) and restocking (8%) markets. Although a decrease in production this was still the second highest level of rainbow trout production recorded in Scotland. The total numbers of staff employed by the sector decreased by five to 121. There was an overall decrease in the productivity of the industry to 66.9 tonnes per person.

In 2016, the number of eyed ova laid down to hatch (9.9 million) decreased by 2.2 million and was mainly all-female diploid stock (80%). The proportion of ova from GB broodstock decreased to 3.9%. Denmark was the largest source of imported ova with 56.2% of the total, this was an increase proportionally from 2015. There were no imports of ova from the Southern hemisphere during 2016. The Scottish rainbow trout industry continues to be highly dependent on imported ova. Additionally, imports of part grown rainbow trout from Northern Ireland continued in 2016.

Atlantic salmon

In 2016, the total production of Atlantic salmon decreased by 8,905 tonnes to 162,817 tonnes, a 5.2% decrease on the 2015 production total. The survey shows increases in the production of grilse but a decrease in the production of pre-salmon and salmon. The number of staff directly employed on the farms increased by 123. Overall, there was a decrease in the productivity of tonnes produced per person from 126.0 to 109.6. The estimated harvest forecast for 2017 is 177,202 tonnes. The trend towards concentrating production in larger sites was maintained with 82.8% of production being concentrated in the sites producing over 1,000 tonnes per annum.

During 2016 there was an increase in the number of ova produced to 13.7 million. The number of ova laid down to hatch decreased by 5.6% to 64.3 million. This highlights the trend towards using foreign ova sources with 90.8% of the ova laid down to hatch being imported and only 9.2% derived from Great British sources. Smolt production decreased slightly to 42.9 million, with the majority being produced as S½ smolts (58.5%) and S1 smolts (41.5%). The number of staff directly employed on freshwater sites remained the same as in 2015 and productivity decreased to 145,900 fish per person. Projections suggest that fewer smolts will be produced in 2017, followed by an increase in 2018.

Other Species

There was a decrease in the production of brown/sea trout from 42 tonnes in 2015 to 41 tonnes in 2016. Halibut production increased by 11 tonnes and there was no reported production of Arctic charr or cod. Lumpsucker and wrasse were produced for use as biological controls for parasites in the marine Atlantic salmon farming industry. In 2016, the total number of staff employed in the production of other species increased by 13 to 63.


Email: Lorna Munro,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road