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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  • In 2018, 6,874 tonnes of mussels were produced for the table market;
  • Mussel and Pacific oyster remain the main species produced in terms of value and tonnage. Mussel production decreased by 16% and Pacific oyster production decreased by 20% during 2018;
  • During 2018, over 4.2 million Pacific oyster shells were produced for on-growing showing that markets both home and abroad are well established;
  • There has been a decrease in the table production of both queen scallop (273,000 to 18,000 shells) and scallop (47,000 to 31,000 shells) since 2017;
  • There was a decrease in the production of native oysters from 200,000 to 142,000 shells in 2018. This sector continues to target a strong niche market;
  • Employment levels decreased by 9% from the previous year, with 298 full, part-time and casual staff being employed during 2018.
  • The Scottish shellfish farming industry is estimated to be worth approximately £9.5 million at first sale value, a decrease of 23% on the 2017 figure.
  • Active surveillance for bonamiasis, marteiliasis and OsHV-1 µvar continued in 2018;
  • For shellfish health purposes, 121 out of 329 sites were inspected during 2018 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, Highland 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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