Scots salmon production hits record level

Marine Scotland Science has published the Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2021 — and it shows that Scotland’s production of Atlantic salmon increased last year by 13,264 tonnes or 7% to 205,393 tonnes.

This is the highest level of salmon production ever recorded in Scotland.

Scottish salmon is the UK’s largest food export.

The Fish Farm Production Survey details statistics on the employment and production of Scottish fish farms producing Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout and other species sectors.

Other key figures from the survey are:

  • The total number of smolts — young salmon — produced in 2021 increased by 0.7 million (1%) to 51.2 million.
  • Production tonnage of rainbow trout increased by 8% in 2021 to 8,156 tonnes. This is the second highest level of rainbow trout production recorded in Scotland.
  • Brown and sea trout production decreased from 24 tonnes in 2020 to 23 tonnes in 2021.
  • The total number of staff employed in marine salmon production during 2021 decreased by 135 to 1,495 staff.

Salmon Scotland CEO Tavish Scott said: “2021 was a record year for Scottish salmon and that is credit to the hard-working farmers and everyone in our sector who rose to the challenge of meeting demand for our world-renowned fish.

“Farm-raised Scottish salmon is a global success story that Scotland can take pride in.

“We put the best-tasting and healthiest protein product on people’s plates and deliver the highest environmental and welfare standards.

“Our sector supports more than 2,500 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs, most of which are in some of the country’s most fragile coastal communities, generating hundreds of millions of pounds for our economy.

“All this has been achieved despite the challenges of Covid and Brexit. With the right government support – streamlined regulation, a more business-friendly approach to immigration, and action to tackle rural housing shortages – we can deliver further sustainable growth.”