The Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) said in its latest Scottish Salmon Economic Report that employment in the Scottish salmon farming industry rose 13% to 2,472 last year.
The SSPO report said capital investment remained steady at £63 million for the second year running and more than £390 million was spent last year in the Scottish supply chain.
The SSPO said the economic impact of the Scottish salmon farming industry — the UK’s top food export — is particularly evident in the Highlands and Islands, where £164million was spent directly with local businesses.
In total, wages increased by 5% to a total of almost £75 million.
Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, said: “Scottish salmon is now both Scotland’s and the UK’s top food export and the wholesale recognition of its quality and provenance has continued to boost industry’s investment confidence.
“For the second year, capital investment is sitting at £63 million and nearly 3,500 Scottish companies are benefiting from doing business with salmon farmers.
“I’m especially pleased to see more recruitment and that 91% of jobs are full-time.
“This is a major boost for the Scottish economy, but for the Highlands and Islands it is a vital economic and social support.
“In addition to the business of salmon farming and the demonstrable benefits that brings, the industry is also committed to supporting local communities where staff and their families live and work.”
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “This report shows our salmon sector is thriving economically, increasing the number of full-time jobs, supporting communities and generating significant levels of investment.
“The industry is a key part of Scotland’s rural economy and this government is committed to supporting the sector to explore new approaches which will continue sustainable and productive growth in the future.”