Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2019

This report is based on the returns of an annual survey questionnaire sent to all active authorised fish farming businesses in Scotland during 2019. Statistics on employment, production and value are presented.

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6. Summary

Rainbow trout

The production of rainbow trout increased by 15% in 2019 to 7,405 tonnes and was directed at the table (93%) and restocking (7%) markets. The total numbers of staff employed by the sector increased by eight to 144. There was an overall increase in the productivity of the industry to 51.4 tonnes per person.

In 2019, the number of eyed ova laid down to hatch (6.6 million) increased by 0.2 million and was mainly triploid stock (82%). The proportion of ova from GB broodstock decreased to 0.5%. Denmark was the largest source of imported ova with 86.5% of the total, this was an increase proportionally from 2018. 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 2019.

Atlantic salmon

In 2019, the total production of Atlantic salmon increased by 47,856 tonnes to 203,881 tonnes, a 30.7% increase on the 2018 production total. The survey shows increases in the production of grilse, pre-salmon and year 2 salmon. The number of staff directly employed on the farms increased by 185. Overall, there was an increase in the productivity of tonnes produced per person from 106.4 to 123.5. The estimated harvest forecast for 2020 is 207,630 tonnes. The trend towards concentrating production in larger sites was maintained with 87.1% of production being concentrated in the sites producing over 1,000 tonnes per annum.

During 2019, there was a decrease in the number of ova produced to 11.6 million. The number of ova laid down to hatch increased by 1.1% to 71.2 million. This highlights the trend towards using foreign ova sources with 89.7% of the ova laid down to hatch being imported and only 10.3% derived from GB sources. Smolt production increased to 51.4 million, with 49.8% being produced as S½ smolts and the remainder as S1 smolts (50.2%). The number of staff directly employed on freshwater sites increased by three in 2019 to 281 staff while productivity increased to 183,000 smolts per person. Projections for 2020 suggest that more smolts will be produced than was seen in 2019, followed by a further increase in 2021.

Other Species

There was an increase in the production of brown/sea trout from 20 tonnes in 2018 to 25 tonnes in 2019. Halibut production occurred in 2019 but the figure cannot be shown without revealing the production of an individual company. Lumpsucker and wrasse were produced for use as biological controls for parasites in the marine Atlantic salmon farming industry. In 2019, the total number of staff employed in the production of other species decreased by seven to 53.



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