About the Sector

Quick facts on Scottish aquaculture:

  • Scottish salmon is the largest component of the Scottish aquaculture industry. Approximately 170,000 tonnes are produced on farms each year.
  • The value of Scottish salmon export sales alone is around £450 million, making it Scotland’s top food export (and the UK’s second largest food export).
  • In the UK, around one million meals are eaten daily with fresh salmon and one million meals a week with smoked salmon.
  • Scottish Government statistics state that the contribution of the entire aquaculture supply chain (farming, equipment, inputs etc) to the Scottish economy is around £1.8 billion per year.
  • Scotland is the world’s third largest producer of farmed salmon (behind Norway and Chile). However, its global market share has declined by almost a half over the past 20 years as competitors’ growth has outstripped Scotland’s.
  • Scottish shellfish production (mostly mussels) is around 8,000 tonnes per annum
  • Scottish Government figures record 8,800 jobs supported by the aquaculture sector in Scotland.
  • The strategy forecasts by 2030 an increase in salmon production to around 350,000 tonnes per annum and, for shellfish, an increase to 21,000 tonnes. It also forecasts a rise in jobs to around 18,000 by 2030.