Scottish fish farmers harvest less salmon, trout

The total volume of Atlantic salmon produced by Scottish fish farmers fell by 17.8 percent or 33,682 metric tons (MT) last year to 156,025 MT, new figures published by the Scottish government confirm.

According to the Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2018, compiled by Marine Scotland Science, the country also saw its rainbow trout harvest fall by 16 percent to 6,413 MT and its brown trout/sea trout production decrease by more than two-thirds to just 20 MT. However, the number of people employed in marine salmon production last year increased by 77 to 1,466 staff.

Twelve companies were involved in the grow-out of Atlantic salmon in Scotland last year, with farming conducted at 221 active sites. This was the same number of businesses seen in 2017, but there was a decrease of five active sites. The number of smolts put to sea was 45.4 million.

The projected estimate for 2019 suggests that salmon production will increase to 190,499 MT.

In 2018, freshwater production was undertaken by 24 businesses at 71 sites, with the number of active sites decreasing by eight compared with 2017.

The total number of smolts produced in 2018 increased by 2 percent or 945,000 to 47.1 million. The number of ova laid down to hatch increased by 7.2 percent to 70.5 million with the 87 percent derived from foreign sources. In 2018, 23,000 ova were exported.

Scotland’s aquaculture industry also continued to farm other species of fish during 2018. Lumpsucker and various species of wrasse were cultured for use as biological controls for parasites in the marine salmon industry. In total, 553,000 lumpsucker and 103,000 wrasse were produced with 1.5 million and 37 million ova being laid down to hatch, respectively.

While halibut also continued to be farmed during 2018, Marine Scotland did not give this figure, saying that it would reveal the production of an individual business.

The number of staff employed in other species production decreased by two, to 60 persons.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


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