Information

Scottish fish farm production survey 2018

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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6. Summary

Rainbow trout

The production of rainbow trout decreased by 16% in 2018 to 6,413 tonnes and was directed at the table (92%) and restocking (8%) markets. The total numbers of staff employed by the sector increased by four to 136. There was an overall decrease in the productivity of the industry to 47.2 tonnes per person.

In 2018, the number of eyed ova laid down to hatch (6.3 million) decreased by 0.7 million and was mainly triploid stock (77%). The proportion of ova from GB broodstock remained the same as in 2017 at 8.1%. Denmark was the largest source of imported ova with 65.8% of the total, this was an increase proportionally from 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 2018.

Atlantic salmon

In 2018, the total production of Atlantic salmon decreased by 33,682 tonnes to 156,025 tonnes, a 17.8% decrease on the 2017 production total. The survey shows decreases in the production of grilse, pre-salmon and salmon. The number of staff directly employed on the farms increased by 77. Overall, there was a decrease in the productivity of tonnes produced per person from 136.6 to 106.4. The estimated harvest forecast for 2018 is 190,499 tonnes. The trend towards concentrating production in larger sites was maintained with 82.0% of production being concentrated in the sites producing over 1,000 tonnes per annum.

During 2018 there was an increase in the number of ova produced to 15.2 million. The number of ova laid down to hatch increased by 7.2% to 70.5 million. This highlights the trend towards using foreign ova sources with 87.3% of the ova laid down to hatch being imported and only 12.7% derived from GB sources. Smolt production increased to 47.1 million, with 51.1% being produced as S½ smolts and the remainder as S1 smolts (48.9%). The number of staff directly employed on freshwater sites decreased by 13 in 2018 to 278 staff while productivity increased to 169,400 fish per person. Projections for 2019 suggest that fewer smolts will be produced than was seen in 2018, followed by an increase in 2020.

Other Species

There was a decrease in the production of brown/sea trout from 61 tonnes in 2017 to 20 tonnes in 2018. Halibut production occurred in 2018 but the figure cannot be shown without revealing the production of an individual company. During 2018, 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 2018, the total number of staff employed in the production of other species decreased by two to 60.

Contact

Email: Lorna.Munro@gov.scot

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