2. Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) - Ova and Smolts
Production survey information was collected from all 24 companies actively involved in the freshwater production of Atlantic salmon, farming 78 active sites. This figure represents the entire freshwater industry operating in Scotland.
Company and Site Data
|Year||No. of companies||No. of sites|
In 2020, the number of companies authorised by the Scottish Government for freshwater production of Atlantic salmon increased by one to 24. A total of 78 sites were actively engaged in commercial production, an increase of two from the 2019 figure.
Production and Staffing
|Year||Number (000's) of Smolts produced||Full-time Male||Full-time Female||Total Full-time||Part-time Male||Part-time Female||Total Part-time||Total Staff||Productivity (000's) smolts per person|
Smolt production in 2020 decreased by 2% compared to 2019. The number of staff employed in 2020 increased by 11 and productivity decreased by 6% to a figure of 172,900 smolts produced per person.
Data for staffing and productivity in 2013 are shown, however, there are uncertainties with these data due to consolidation within the industry.
Smolts by Age Group
In 2020, there was a decrease of 11% in the number of S½ smolts produced and an increase of 7% in the number of S1 smolts produced.
|System||No. of sites with system||Total capacity, 000's cubic metres|
|Tanks and Raceways||49||43||44||49||51||46||55||54||68||62|
The types of facility used for the production of smolts in freshwater are cages or tanks and raceways. In 2020, the number of farms using cages remained the same as in 2019 and the number of farms using tanks and raceways increased by two. In terms of volume, cage capacity increased by 28,000 m³ and tank and raceway capacity decreased by 6,000 m³. This resulted in a net increase in volume of 22,000 m³ available for the production of smolts in Scotland during 2020.
|Number of smolts produced (000's)||Stocking densities (smolts/m3)|
The average stocking densities of cages decreased from 54 to 48 smolts per m³ in 2020 compared to 2019, while densities in tanks and raceways increased from 477 to 519 smolts per m³.
|No. of ova||78,208||57,489||56,904||33,450||11,605||13,689||12,631||15,228||11,618||20,021|
In 2020, over 20 million ova were stripped, an increase of 72% from the number of ova produced in 2019.
|Year||In-house broodstock||Out-sourced GB broodstock||GB wild broodstock||Foreign ova||Total||Previous year's estimate|
The number of ova laid down to hatch was 78.6 million, an increase of 7.4 million (10.3%) on the 2019 figure. The majority of the ova (87.4%) were derived from foreign sources, this being an increase of 4.8 million (7.4%) on the 2019 figure. Supplies derived from GB broodstock (excluding wild origin ova) increased by 2.4 million, a 33.6% increase on the 2019 figure. In 2020, 258,000 ova from GB wild broodstock were laid down to hatch, ova derived from wild stocks are generally held and hatched for wild stock enhancement by the aquaculture industry in cooperation with wild fisheries managers.
Smolts Produced and Put to Sea
|Actual smolts put to sea||42.7||41.1||40.9||48.1||45.5||43.0||46.1||45.5||53.0||52.5|
|Ratio of ova laid down to smolts produced||1.5||1.4||1.6||1.6||1.5||1.5||1.4||1.5||1.4||1.6|
The figure for the number of smolts put to sea includes smolts produced in England and smolts imported from elsewhere, whereas smolt production data relate only to those produced in Scotland. Smolt producers estimate putting 55.6 million smolts to sea in 2021. The ratio of ova laid down to hatch to smolts produced in 2020 was greater than the ratio in 2019.
Scale of Production
|Year||Scale of production||No. of sites in production||Total smolts produced|
Note: These data refer only to sites producing smolts. The sites holding only ova, fry or parr are excluded.
The number of sites producing smolts in 2020 was 41. The number of sites producing less than 101,000 smolts increased by three while the number of sites producing between 101,000 and one million smolts per year decreased by 7. The number of sites producing in excess of one million smolts per year remained at 16 sites.
Production of Ova and Smolt by Production Area
|Region||Number of staff employed in 2020||Ova laid down to hatch (000's)||Smolt production (000's)||Estimated smolt production (000's)|
|East and South||4||2||42||320||974||823||1,439||700|
In 2020, the North West and the West were the main areas where ova were laid down to hatch. The North West and the West were the main smolt producing areas. The greatest number of staff were employed in the North West region.
© Crown copyright and database rights 2020 OS (100024655)
International Trade in Ova
Since the introduction of the EU single market on 1st January 1993 and the associated Fish Health Regulations common to all EU member states, a trade in live salmon and ova has been established. In addition, the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement allows trade between the EU and the member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Trade was based on the same rules as are established within the EU regarding compartments and zones declared free from listed diseases. This situation existed until 1st January 2021 and so covers the period of this report.
Trade with Third Countries has also been established, but only from sites that have met the same health standards as are established within the EU regarding the approval of farms and zones for listed diseases. Exports to countries outside the EU are subject to the health conditions placed by the importing country. Marine Scotland Science advises potential exporters to ascertain with the importing country any specific health testing requirements that may be a condition of import.
Imports and Exports
|Import Year||Ova||Fry, Parr and Smolts|
|EU Member States||EFTA||Total||EU Member States||EFTA - Norway|
The numbers of ova imported decreased by 0.2%. The number of fry, parr and smolts imported increased from that observed in 2019, with over 1.1 million imported from EU member states during 2020.
|Export year||Farmed origin ova||Total||Fry, Parr and Smolts|
In 2020, no ova were exported. Fry, parr and smolt exports increased by 126,000 fish on the 2019 figure.
|No. of sites||67||63||63||56||55||47||46||43||46||43|
|No. of fish (millions) vaccinated||49.2||48.1||47.5||44.7||48.0||42.6||58.4||51.0||52.4||59.2|
Vaccines were used to provide protection against furunculosis, infectious pancreatic necrosis (IPN), ERM, vibriosis and salmonid alphavirus (SAV). The majority of fish were vaccinated against furunculosis, IPN and SAV, with smaller numbers of fish being vaccinated against ERM and vibriosis. A total of 59.2 million fish were vaccinated across 43 sites.
In 2020, there was one escape incident involving the loss of 20 fish from sites rearing freshwater Atlantic salmon. There was one additional incident reported where the company confirmed there was no loss of fish.