Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2020

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.

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6. Summary

Rainbow trout

The production of rainbow trout increased by 2% in 2020 to 7,576 tonnes and was directed at the table (93%) and restocking (7%) markets. The total numbers of staff employed by the sector decreased by 10 to 134. There was an overall increase in the productivity of the industry to 56.5 tonnes per person.

In 2020, the number of eyed ova laid down to hatch (6.2 million) decreased by 0.3 million and was mainly triploid stock (95%). The proportion of ova from GB broodstock increased to 25%. Denmark was the largest source of imported ova with 70.4% of the total, this was a decrease proportionally from 2019. 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 2020.

Atlantic salmon

In 2020, the total production of Atlantic salmon decreased by 11,752 tonnes to 192,129 tonnes, a 5.8% decrease on the 2019 production total. The survey showed increases in the production of year 0 salmon and grilse but a decrease in the production of pre-salmon and year 2 salmon during 2020. The number of staff directly employed on the farms decreased by 21. Overall, there was a decrease in the productivity of tonnes produced per person from 123.5 to 117.9. The estimated harvest forecast for 2021 is 236,000 tonnes. The trend towards concentrating production in larger sites was maintained with 89.6% of production being concentrated in the sites producing over 1,000 tonnes per annum.

During 2020, there was an increase in the number of ova produced to 20.0 million. The number of ova laid down to hatch increased by 10.3% to 78.6 million. This highlights the trend towards using foreign ova sources with 87.4% of the ova laid down to hatch being imported and only 12.6% derived from GB

sources. Smolt production decreased to 50.5 million, with 60.6% being produced as S½ smolts and the remainder as S1 smolts (39.4%). The number of staff directly employed on freshwater sites increased by 11 in 2020 to 292 staff while productivity decreased to 172,900 smolts per person. Projections for 2021 suggest that more smolts will be produced than was seen in 2020, followed by a decrease in 2022.

Other Species

There was a decrease in the production of brown/sea trout from 25 tonnes in 2019 to 24 tonnes in 2020. Halibut production occurred in 2020 but the figure cannot be shown without revealing the production of individual companies. Lumpsucker and wrasse continued to be produced for use as biological controls for parasites in the marine Atlantic salmon farming industry. In 2020, the total number of staff employed in the production of other species decreased by 18 to 35.



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