Information

Scottish shellfish farm production survey 2018

Report based on returns of an annual survey questionnaire sent to all active authorised shellfish farming businesses in Scotland.

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Sites and Businesses

The numbers of authorised, active businesses and sites in operation are presented in Tables 3 and 4. There are many sites that held stock not yet ready for market, others were fallow, and some were located in remote areas where cost-effective production and marketing of shellfish proved difficult.

Historically, production data have been collected by business. However, since 2002, data have been collected for both business and site, enabling the provision of more accurate site information. In 2018, 160 sites produced shellfish for sale, a decrease of 9% since 2017.

Table 3: Authorised and active businesses 2009-2018.

Number of Businesses
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Active 168 164 153 153 142 144 144 138 132 130

Table 4: Active and producing farm sites by region 2018.

Region
Highland Orkney Shetland Strathclyde Western Isles All Scotland
Sites
Active 74 3 134 69 49 329
Producing 25 0 94 26 15 160

Active = Farms in a production growing cycle which may contain stock or be fallow. 

Producing = Placing on the market for the table and/or on-growing.

NB: A business may produce more than one species and in more than one region.

Figure 2: Regional distribution of active shellfish sites in 2018 (number producing given in brackets) and number of producing businesses by region/species.

Figure 2: Regional distribution of active shellfish sites in 2018 (number producing given in brackets) and number of producing businesses by region/species

There were five Several Orders in place for scallop fisheries in 2018 (see Fig. 2 above) all of which are located in the Highland region. 

Table 5 depicts the number of businesses by region and by species: A) in table production, B) in on-growing production and C) showing no production. Many businesses cultivate more than one species on site, a practice made possible by similar cultivation techniques. For example, scallop can be grown together with queen, Pacific oyster with native oyster, and mussel with Pacific oyster.

Table 5: Number of businesses by region and by species 2018.

A) Production for the table

Region
Highland Orkney Shetland Strathclyde Western Isles All Scotland
Pacific oyster 7 0 0 18 2 27
Native oyster 0 0 0 2 0 2
Scallop 2 0 0 1 0 3
Queen 1 0 0 1 0 2
Mussel 6 0 22 4 6 38
Total 16 0 22 26 8 72

B) Production for on-growing to other producers

Region
Highland Orkney Shetland Strathclyde Western Isles All Scotland
Pacific oyster 1 0 0 3 1 5
Native oyster 1 0 0 2 0 3
Scallop 0 0 0 1 0 1
Queen 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mussel 1 0 15 2 1 19
Total 3 0 15 8 2 28

C) No production, actively on-growing or fallow

Region
Highland Orkney Shetland Strathclyde Western Isles All Scotland
Pacific oyster 9 1 0 13 3 26
Native oyster 3 0 0 3 0 6
Scallop 6 0 0 3 0 9
Queen 1 0 0 1 0 2
Mussel 15 2 0 9 5 31
Total 34 3 0 29 8 74

Business production levels by species are shown in Table 6. There were 15 businesses producing more than 100 tonnes of mussels, a decrease of three businesses since 2017. Out of these 15 businesses, nine produced more than 200 tonnes. These nine businesses produced 74% of the total mussel production in Scotland. There were seven businesses that produced more than 200,000 Pacific oysters. The production from these businesses accounted for 84% of the Scottish Pacific oyster total.

Table 6: Business production levels by species 2018.

Species 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 71-80 81-90 91-100 101-200 >200 Total
Pacific oyster (000s) 9 1 0 2 2 2 1 2 0 0 1 7 27
Native oyster (000s) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2
Scallop (000s) 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Queen (000s) 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Mussel (tonnes) 6 2 2 3 2 2 3 0 2 1 6 9 38
Total 18 6 2 5 4 4 4 2 2 1 8 16 72

Contact

Email: lorna.munro@gov.scot

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