Scottish fish farm production survey 2017

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

This document is part of a collection

6. Summary

Rainbow trout

The production of rainbow trout decreased by 6% in 2017 to 7,637 tonnes and was directed at the table (92%) and restocking (8%) markets. The total numbers of staff employed by the sector increased by 11 to 132. There was an overall decrease in the productivity of the industry to 57.9 tonnes per person.

In 2017, the number of eyed ova laid down to hatch (7.0 million) decreased by 2.9 million and was mainly triploid stock (66%). The proportion of ova from GB broodstock increased to 8.1%. Denmark was the largest source of imported ova with 60.3% of the total, this was an increase proportionally from 2016. There were no imports of ova from the Southern hemisphere during 2017. 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 2017.

Atlantic salmon

In 2017, the total production of Atlantic salmon increased by 26,890 tonnes to 189,707 tonnes, a 16.5% increase on the 2016 production total and the highest ever level of production recorded in Scotland. The survey shows increases in the production of grilse pre-salmon and salmon. The number of staff directly employed on the farms decreased by 55. Overall, there was a increase in the productivity of tonnes produced per person from 109.6 to 132.6. The estimated harvest forecast for 2018 is 150,774 tonnes. The trend towards concentrating production in larger sites was maintained with 82.3% of production being concentrated in the sites producing over 1,000 tonnes per annum.

During 2017 there was a decrease in the number of ova produced to 12.6 million. The number of ova laid down to hatch increased by 2.2% to 65.7 million. This highlights the trend towards using foreign ova sources with 90.0% of the ova laid down to hatch being imported and only 10.0% derived from GB sources. Smolt production increased to 46.2 million, with the majority being produced as S½ smolts (60.8%) and the remainder as S1 smolts (39.2%). The number of staff directly employed on freshwater sites decreased by three in 2017 to 291 staff while productivity increased to 158,600 fish per person. Projections for 2018 suggest that a similar number of smolts will be produced as was seen in 2017, followed by an increase in 2019.

Other Species

There was an increase in the production of brown/sea trout from 41 tonnes in 2016 to 61 tonnes in 2017. Halibut production occurred in 2017 but the figure cannot be shown without revealing the production of an individual company. During 2017, 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 2017, the total number of staff employed in the production of other species decreased by one to 62.


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