Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2021

This report is based on the returns of an annual survey questionnaire sent to all active authorised fish farming businesses in Scotland during 2021. Statistics on employment, production and value are presented.

This document is part of a collection

Executive Summary

The tables below summarise the results from the 2021 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)

2020 2021
Total production (tonnes) 7,576 8,156
Production for the table (tonnes) 7,032 7,655
Production for restocking (tonnes) 544 501
Number of staff employed 134 146
Mean productivity (tonnes/person) 56.5 55.9
Number of ova laid down to hatch (millions) 6.2 4.9
Number of ova imported (millions) 4.7 3.6

In 2021, the production of rainbow trout increased by 580 tonnes. Employment increased by 12 staff and mean productivity decreased to 55.9 tonnes per person. The number of ova laid down to hatch decreased by 1.3 million and the number of ova imported decreased by 1.1 million.

Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar)

Ova and Smolts

2020 2021
Number of ova produced (millions) 20.0 46.3
Number of ova laid down to hatch (millions) 78.6 72.8
Number of ova exported (millions) 0 0
Number of ova imported (millions) 57.3 32.9
Number of smolts produced (millions) 50.5 51.2
Number of smolts put to sea (millions) 52.5 51.1
Number of staff employed 292 291
Mean productivity (000’s smolts/person) 172.9 175.9

The production of ova increased by 26.3 million in 2021 and the number of ova laid down to hatch decreased by 5.8 million. No ova were exported in 2021 and the number of ova imported decreased by 24.4 million from the 2020 figure. The number of smolts produced increased by 0.7 million. In 2021 the number of staff employed decreased by one and mean productivity increased by 3,000 smolts per person.

Production fish

2020 2021
Total production (tonnes) 192,129 205,393
Production of 0-year fish (tonnes) 1,208 34
Production of grilse (tonnes) 85,543 93,346
Production of pre-salmon (tonnes) 56,232 51,349
Production of year 2 salmon (tonnes) 49,146 60,664
Mean fish weight 0-year (kg) 3.7 2.1
Mean fish weight grilse (kg) 4.8 5.0
Mean fish weight pre-salmon (kg) 5.3 4.6
Mean fish weight year 2 salmon (kg) 5.5 5.7
Number of staff employed 1,630 1,495
Mean productivity tonnes/person 117.9 137.4

Production tonnage increased by 13,264 tonnes with an increase in the mean harvest weight of grilse and pre-salmon but a decrease in the mean weight of year 0 and year 2 salmon. Staff numbers decreased by 135 and mean productivity increased to 137.4 tonnes per person.

Smolt survival (percentage harvested)

Survival (%) Years 0+1 Year 2 Total
2018 input year class 58.0 19.5 77.5
2019 input year class 54.4 20.0 74.4

The smolt survival rate for the 2019 input year class decreased to 74.4%. 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).

2020 2021
Total production (tonnes) 43a 61a
Number of staff employed (full-time) 22 28
(part-time) 13 13
Number of ova laid down to hatch (millions) 20.7b 60.0
Number of ova imported (millions) 0.7 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 2021, the production of other species increased by 18 tonnes from the 2020 total, although this figure does not include halibut production. Overall, employment increased by six in 2021. There was an increase in the number of ova laid down to hatch during 2021 but any halibut ova laid down to hatch in 2020 were not included in the 2020 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 52
Atlantic salmon (freshwater stages) 0 0 0
Atlantic salmon (seawater stages) 14 1 19,686



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