Scottish shellfish farm production survey 2017

This report is based on the returns of an annual survey questionnaire sent to all active authorised shellfish farming businesses in Scotland.

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  • In 2017, 8,232 tonnes of mussels were produced for the table market, this is the highest level of mussel production recorded in Scotland;
  • Mussel and Pacific oyster remain the main species produced in terms of value and tonnage with production tonnage increasing by 6% and 42% respectively during 2017;
  • During 2017, over 3.8 million Pacific oyster shells were produced for on-growing showing that markets both home and abroad are well established;
  • There has been an increase in both queen scallop production (155,000 to 273,000 shells) and scallop production (35,000 to 47,000 shells) since 2016;
  • There was a small decrease in the production of native oysters from 201,000 to 200,000 shells in 2017. The sector continues to target a strong niche market;
  • Employment levels increased by 4% from the previous year, with 328 full, part-time and casual staff being employed during 2017.
  • The Scottish shellfish farming industry is estimated to be worth approximately £12.4 million at first sale value, an increase of 6%.
  • Active surveillance for bonamiasis, marteiliasis and OsHV-1 µvar continued in 2017;
  • For shellfish health purposes, 81 out of 332 sites were inspected during 2017 as part of a risk based surveillance programme implemented under Council Directive 2006/88/ EC. Details of this can be found at;
  • Movement restrictions remain in place for the presence of Bonamia ostreae at Loch Sunart and West Loch Tarbert, Argyll;
  • The UK maintained disease free status with regard to bonamiasis, marteiliasis and OsHV-1 µvar. Immediate notification of increased mortality on farm sites must be reported to Marine Scotland Science, Fish Health Inspectorate ( see Contact details).


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