Publication - Statistics

Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2020

Published: 30 Sep 2021
Directorate:
Marine Scotland Directorate
Part of:
Marine and fisheries
ISBN:
9781802014341

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
2. Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) - Ova and Smolts

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

Table 12: Number of companies and sites in production during 2011-2020
Year No. of companies No. of sites
2011 28 98
2012 28 100
2013 27 102
2014 26 96
2015 25 87
2016 26 87
2017 24 79
2018 24 71
2019 23 76
2020 24 78

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

Table 13: Number (000's) of smolts produced, staff employed and smolt productivity during 2011-2020
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
2011 43,626 207 18 225 45 23 68 293 148.9
2012 44,324 218 17 235 60 33 93 328 135.1
2013 40,457 226 11 237 29 19 48 285 142.0
2014 45,004 226 18 244 42 23 65 309 145.6
2015 44,571 208 31 239 41 14 55 294 151.6
2016 42,894 225 27 252 35 7 42 294 145.9
2017 46,152 219 31 250 33 8 41 291 158.6
2018 47,097 210 29 239 30 9 39 278 169.4
2019 51,430 215 32 247 26 8 34 281 183.0
2020 50,492 233 30 263 23 6 29 292 172.9

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

Table 14: Number of smolts (000's) produced by type during 2011-2020
Year S1 S1½ Total
2011 17,233 26,393 0 43,626
2012 18,795 25,239 290 44,324
2013 19,024 21,279 154 40,457
2014 22,367 22,473 164 45,004
2015 23,850 20,711 10 44,571
2016 25,072 17,822 0 42,894
2017 28,072 18,080 0 46,152
2018 24,058 23,039 0 47,097
2019 25,607 25,823 0 51,430
2020 22,872 27,620 0 50,492

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.

Production Systems

Table 15: Number and capacity of production systems during 2016-2020
System No. of sites with system Total capacity, 000's cubic metres
Year 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Cages 38 36 27 27 27 400 357 346 351 379
Tanks and Raceways 49 43 44 49 51 46 55 54 68 62
Total 87 79 71 76 78 446 412 400 419 441

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.

Table 16: Number (000's) of smolts produced and stocking densities by production system during 2016-2020
  Number of smolts produced (000's) Stocking densities (smolts/m3)
Year 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Cages 15,884 17,207 21,771 18,964 18,331 40 48 63 54 48
All others 27,010 28,945 25,326 32,466 32,161 587 526 469 477 519
Total 42,894 46,152 47,097 51,430 50,492 - - - - -

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.

Ova Production

Table 17: Number (000's) of salmon ova produced during 2011-2020
Year 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
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.

Table 18: Source, number (000's), previous year's estimate of ova laid down to hatch during 2011-2020 and projected production for 2021
Year In-house broodstock Out-sourced GB broodstock GB wild broodstock Foreign ova Total Previous year's estimate
2011 15,664 14,630 0 34,322 64,616 54,526
2012 18,556 9,981 0 34,700 63,237 55,723
2013 16,996 8,263 0 41,315 66,573 49,249
2014 14,418 2,725 10 53,684 70,837 48,149
2015 6,479 223 10 61,463 68,175 65,284
2016 5,884 4 0 58,458 64,346 59,604
2017 6,228 360 0 59,158 65,746 60,673
2018 8,780 200 0 61,499 70,479 67,374
2019 5,516 1,724 75 63,931 71,246 71,571
2020 5,195 4,480 258 68,685 78,618 70,598
2021           68,588

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

Table 19: Actual and projected smolt production and smolts put to sea (millions) during 2011-2022
  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
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    
Smolts produced 43.6 44.3 40.5 45.0 44.6 42.9 46.2 47.1 51.4 50.5    
Estimated production 35.9 31.3 28.1 39.9 43.4 36.6 39.3 46.1 38.6 52.1 55.6 54.6
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

Table 20: Smolt-producing sites grouped by numbers (000's) of smolts produced during 2011‑2020
Year Scale of production No. of sites in production Total smolts produced
1-10 11-25 26-50 51-100 101-250 251-500 501-1,000 >1,000
2011 1 0 4 5 11 14 9 17 61 43,626
2012 0 0 1 3 19 14 11 13 61 44,324
2013 1 0 1 7 14 14 7 14 58 40,457
2014 0 0 2 1 11 9 14 13 50 45,004
2015 1 1 2 4 9 11 16 11 55 44,571
2016 1 1 0 3 7 11 13 12 48 42,894
2017 1 0 0 2 6 11 10 15 45 46,152
2018 0 1 0 0 6 9 14 12 42 47,097
2019 1 0 0 2 8 8 10 16 45 51,430
2020 1 1 0 4 4 5 10 16 41 50,492

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

Table 21: Staffing in 2020, ova laid down to hatch in 2019-2020, smolt production in 2019-2020 and estimated production in 2021-2022 by region
Region Number of staff employed in 2020 Ova laid down to hatch (000's) Smolt production (000's) Estimated smolt production (000's)
F/T P/T 2019 2020 2019 2020 2021 2022
North West 135 16 34,519 42,702 29,660 26,308 30,529 30,389
Orkney 0 2 0 100 102 97 65 125
Shetland 27 1 6,512 5,948 4,560 3,804 3,030 3,030
West 66 6 23,221 23,810 11,772 16,213 17,409 18,299
Western Isles 31 2 6,952 5,738 4,362 3,247 3,155 2,100
East and South 4 2 42 320 974 823 1,439 700
All Scotland 263 29 71,246 78,618 51,430 50,492 55,627 54,643

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.

Figure 2: The regional distribution of active Atlantic salmon smolt sites in 2020
This is a map showing the distribution of active Atlantic salmon smolt sites in Scotland in 2020. The map is split into 6 areas: Shetland, Orkney, North West, East & South, West and Western Isles and has black dots showing where each site is on the map.

© 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

Table 22a: Source and number (000's) of salmon ova, fry, parr and smolts imported during 2011-2020 derived from health certificates
Import Year Ova Fry, Parr and Smolts
EU Member States EFTA Total EU Member States EFTA - Norway
Iceland Norway
2011 3,400 0 35,851 39,251 800 0
2012 10,134 0 23,849 33,983 0 0
2013 10,700 2,719 35,044 48,463 55 0
2014 5,218 3,813 49,831 58,862 1,602 1,748
2015 4,815 8,978 45,926 59,719 2,118 365
2016 5,444 5,324 38,602 49,370 1,956 0
2017 7,000 13,883 37,025 57,908 2,012 0
2018 7,250 10,116 48,430 65,796 1,700 0
2019 10,184 26,352 23,673 60,209 297 0
2020 17,746 42,106 220 60,072 1,130 0

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.

Table 22b: Destination and number (000's) of salmon ova, fry, parr and smolts exported during 2011-2020 derived from health certificates
Export year Farmed origin ova Total Fry, Parr and Smolts
EU Norway Others
2011 0 0 820 820 183
2012 0 0 0 0 55
2013 650 0 0 650 404
2014 0 0 0 0 259
2015 93 0 2 95 8
2016 335 0 23 358 173
2017 16 0 323 339 206
2018 23 0 0 23 71
2019 0 0 0 0 263
2020 0 0 0 0 389

In 2020, no ova were exported. Fry, parr and smolt exports increased by 126,000 fish on the 2019 figure.

Vaccines

Table 23: Number of sites using vaccines and number (millions) of fish vaccinated during 2011-2020
Year 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
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.

Escapes

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.


Contact

Email: lorna.munro@gov.scot