Scottish Shellfish Farm Production Survey 2020

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

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  • In 2020, 5,661 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 15% and Pacific oyster production decreased by 33% during 2020;
  • This decline is largely due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, with many businesses reporting no table trade while the hospitality sector was in lockdown during much of 2020;
  • During 2020, over 1.6 million Pacific oyster shells were produced for on-growing;
  • There was a very small amount of queen scallop production during 2020 with the biggest producer reporting no production due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a decrease in scallop production, from 26,000 to 19,000 shells, since 2019;
  • There was a decrease in the production of native oyster from 103,000 to 75,000 shells in 2020.
  • Employment levels increased by 8% from the previous year, with 300 full, part-time and casual staff being employed during 2020.
  • The Scottish shellfish farming industry is estimated to be worth approximately £6.1 million at first sale value, a decrease of 23% on the 2019 figure. This decline is largely due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic with many businesses reporting lost trade while the hospitality sector was in lockdown during much of 2020.
  • Active surveillance for bonamiasis, marteiliasis and OsHV-1 μvar continued in 2020;
  • For shellfish health purposes, 14 out of 313 sites were inspected during 2020 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 the Dornoch Firth, Highland, West Loch Tarbert, Argyll, and Lynn of Lorne, Loch Creran and Loch Etive, Strathclyde;
  • The UK maintained disease free status with regard to bonamiasis, marteiliasis and OsHV-1 μvar, with the exception of specific compartments under movement restrictions. Immediate notification of increased mortality on farm sites must be reported to Marine Scotland Science, Fish Health Inspectorate (see Contact details page II).



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