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Scottish Shellfish Farm Production Survey 2021

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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Businesses and sites

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. In 2021, 165 sites produced shellfish for sale, a decrease of 1% from 2020, with 61% of these sites located in Shetland.

Table 3 Authorised and active businesses 2012-2021.
Number of Businesses
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Active 153 142 144 144 138 132 130 129 125 120
Table 4 Active and producing farm sites by region 2021.
Region
Highland Orkney Shetland Strathclyde Western Isles All Scotland
Sites
Active 66 5 140 53 45 309
Producing 24 3 100 27 11 165

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 2021 (number producing given in brackets) and number of producing businesses by region/species.
This is a map showing the distribution of active shellfish sites in Scotland in 2021. The map is split into five areas: Shetland, Orkney, Western Isles, Highland and Strathclyde and has black dots showing where each site is on the map. There are also five red triangles showing the location of the Several Order which are currently in place for scallop fisheries, these are all located in the Highland region. Pie charts show number of producing businesses by region and species.

There were five Several Orders in place for scallop fisheries in 2021 (see Fig. 2) 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. The highest proportion of Pacific oyster businesses are located in Strathclyde while the highest proportion of mussel businesses are in Shetland.

Table 5 Number of businesses by region and by species 2021.
a) Production for the table
  Region
Highland Orkney Shetland Strathclyde Western Isles All Scotland
Pacific oyster 5 2 0 19 2 28
Native oyster 1 0 0 1 0 2
Scallop 2 0 0 0 0 2
Queen 1 0 0 0 0 1
Mussel 6 0 21 4 4 35
Total 15 2 21 24 6 68
b) Production for on-growing to other producers
  Region
Highland Orkney Shetland Strathclyde Western Isles All Scotland
Pacific oyster 1 0 0 3 0 4
Native oyster 1 1 0 1 0 3
Scallop 0 0 0 0 0 0
Queen 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mussel 2 0 14 1 0 17
Total 4 1 14 5 0 24
c) No production, actively on-growing or fallow
  Region
Highland Orkney Shetland Strathclyde Western Isles All Scotland
Pacific oyster 12 0 1 10 2 25
Native oyster 4 0 1 2 0 7
Scallop 6 0 0 3 0 9
Queen 2 0 0 2 0 4
Mussel 13 1 2 6 5 27
Total 37 1 4 23 7 72

Business production levels by species are shown in Table 6. There were 11 businesses producing more than 200 tonnes of mussels, this was an increase of one from 2020. These 11 businesses produced 84% 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 82% of the Scottish Pacific oyster total.

Table 6 Business production levels by species 2021.
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 4 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 3 7 28
Native oyster (000s) 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Scallop (000s) 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Queen (000s) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Mussel (tonnes) 8 3 2 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 7 11 35

Contact

Email: lorna.munro@gov.scot

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