Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2022

This report is based on the returns of an annual survey questionnaire sent to all active authorised fish farming businesses in Scotland during 2022. Statistics on employment, production and value are presented.

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Rainbow trout

The production of rainbow trout increased by 7% in 2022 to 8,757 tonnes and was directed at the table (93%) and restocking (7%) markets. The total numbers of staff employed by the sector decreased by eight to 138. There was an overall increase in the productivity of the industry to 63.5 tonnes per person.

In 2022, the number of eyed ova laid down to hatch (4.1 million) decreased by 0.7 million and was mainly triploid stock (99.7%). The proportion of ova from GB broodstock increased to 36%. The USA was the largest source of imported ova with 84% of the total, this was an increase proportionally from 2021. 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 2022.

Atlantic salmon

In 2022, the total production of Atlantic salmon decreased by 36,199 tonnes to 169,194 tonnes, an 18% decrease on the 2021 production total. The survey showed an increase in the production of year 0 salmon and pre-salmon but a decrease in the production of grilse and year 2 salmon during 2022. The number of staff directly employed on the farms increased by 13. Overall, there was a decrease in the productivity of tonnes produced per person from 137.4 to 112.2. The estimated harvest forecast for 2023 is 187,725 tonnes. The trend towards concentrating production in larger sites was maintained with 86% of production being concentrated in the sites producing over 1,000 tonnes per annum.

During 2022, there was an increase in the number of ova produced to 53.2 million. The number of ova laid down to hatch increased by 8% to 78.5 million. 2022 saw 58% of ova being imported with the remaining 42% being derived from GB broodstock (an increase of 7% on the 2021 figure). Smolt production increased to 55.1 million, with 48% being produced as S½ smolts and 52% as S1 smolts. The number of staff directly employed on freshwater sites increased by four in 2022 to 295 staff while productivity increased to 186,600 smolts per person. Projections for 2023 suggest that less smolts will be produced than was seen in 2022, followed by an increase in 2024.

Other Species

Production of brown/sea trout remained at 23 tonnes in 2022. Halibut production occurred in 2022 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 2022, the total number of staff employed in the production of other species increased by one to 42.



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