Publication - Statistics

Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2020

Published: 30 Sep 2021
Marine Scotland Directorate
Part of:
Marine and fisheries

This report is based on the returns of an annual survey questionnaire sent to all active authorised fish farming businesses in Scotland during 2020. Statistics on employment, production and value are presented.

Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2020
Executive Summary

Executive Summary

The tables below summarise the results from the 2020 fish farms annual production survey (slight difference in these summary figures from figures in the main report are due to rounding).

Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

    2019 2020
Total production (tonnes) 7,405 7,576
Production for the table (tonnes) 6,906 7,032
Production for restocking (tonnes) 499 544
Number of staff employed   144 134
Mean productivity (tonnes/person) 51.4 56.5
Number of ova laid down to hatch (millions) 6.6 6.2
Number of ova imported (millions) 6.5 4.7

In 2020, the production of rainbow trout increased by 171 tonnes. Employment decreased by 10 staff and mean productivity increased to 56.5 tonnes per person. The number of ova laid down to hatch decreased by 0.4 million and the number of ova imported decreased by 1.8 million.

Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar)

Ova and Smolts

    2019 2020
Number of ova produced (millions) 11.6 20.0
Number of ova laid down to hatch (millions) 71.2 78.6
Number of ova exported (millions) 0 0
Number of ova imported (millions) 60.2 60.1
Number of smolts produced (millions) 51.4 50.5
Number of smolts put to sea (millions) 53.0 52.5
Number of staff employed   281 292
Mean productivity (000's smolts/person)   183.0 172.9

The production of ova increased by 8.4 million in 2020 and the number of ova laid down to hatch increased by 7.4 million. No ova were exported in 2020 and the number of ova imported decreased by 0.1 million from the 2019 figure. The number of smolts produced decreased by 0.9 million. In 2020 the number of staff employed increased by 11 and mean productivity decreased by 10,100 smolts per person.

Production fish

    2019 2020
Total production (tonnes) 203,881 192,129
Production of 0-year fish (tonnes) 931 1,208
Production of grilse (tonnes) 72,243 88,025
Production of pre-salmon (tonnes) 59,847 57,808
Production of year 2 salmon (tonnes) 70,860 45,088
Mean fish weight 0-year (kg) 2.9 3.7
Mean fish weight grilse (kg) 5.0 4.8
Mean fish weight pre-salmon (kg) 5.1 5.3
Mean fish weight year 2 salmon (kg) 5.8 5.5
Number of staff employed   1,651 1,630
Mean productivity tonnes/person 123.5 117.9

Production tonnage decreased by 11,752 tonnes with an increase in the mean harvest weight of year 0 and pre-salmon but a decrease in the mean weight of grilse and year 2 salmon. Staff numbers decreased by 21 and mean productivity decreased to 117.9 tonnes per person.

Smolt survival (percentage harvested)

Survival (%) Years 0+1 Year 2 Total
2017 input year class 47.3 26.5 73.8
2018 input year class 57.8 17.9 75.9

The smolt survival rate for the 2018 input year class increased to 75.9%. Mortality is included in the number of fish not harvested for human consumption, which also consists of fish which have escaped, been culled for production reasons, removed for sampling purposes, statutory culls or selected for broodstock production.

Other Species

Including brown/sea trout (Salmo trutta); halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus); lumpsucker (Cyclopterus lumpus) and several species of wrasse (Labridae).

    2019 2020
Total production (tonnes) 41a 43a
Number of staff employed (full-time) 38 22
(part-time) 15 13
Number of ova laid down to hatch (millions) 19.8b 20.7b
Number of ova imported (millions) 1.3 0.7

Some figures are excluded from this report as providing them would reveal production information from an individual company.

aExcluding halibut production.

bExcluding halibut ova laid down to hatch.

In 2020, the production of other species increased by two tonnes from the 2019 total, although this figure does not include halibut production. Overall, employment decreased by 18 in 2020. There was an increase in the number of ova laid down to hatch during 2020 but any halibut ova laid down to hatch were excluded from this figure.

Number of Confirmed Escape Incidents from Fish Farms Notified to the Scottish Government

Species Number of reported incidents which could have led to an escape of farmed fish Number of reported incidents which did lead to an escape of farmed fish Number of fish escaped
Rainbow trout 1 1 1,601
Atlantic salmon (freshwater stages) 1 1 20
Atlantic salmon (seawater stages) 13 5 204,901