Scotland’s fish farms boosted economy by £3bn over last decade, trade body Salmon Scotland notes
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The Edinburgh-based organisation has highlighted a Scottish Government report showing that such farmers’ economic contribution soared by 76 per cent from 2011 to reach £362 million in 2020, while farming staff numbers also increased by nearly a third. The period saw farmers grow 1.9 million tonnes of fish worth £9 billion, with sustainable production rising on average by 2.9 per cent year on year.
Salmon Scotland also noted the finding that aquaculture was the third-largest marine contributor in gross value added, behind only oil and gas and construction and water transport services – while it cited recent HMRC data showing that Scottish salmon is the UK’s largest food export.
The trade body – formerly known as the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation – added that the report comes amid calls for an overhaul of the “cluttered” regulatory and planning system for salmon farming.
Salmon Scotland boss and former MSP Tavish Scott said: “Scottish salmon generates vital wealth for the country, and specifically for our islands and Highland coastal communities. Farm-raised Scottish salmon is a global success story that everyone in Scotland can take pride in, putting the best-tasting and healthiest protein product on people’s plates and delivering the highest environmental and welfare standards.
“All this has been achieved despite the incredible challenges of Covid and Brexit, and with the right government support – streamlined regulation, a more business-friendly approach to immigration in the post-Brexit environment, and action to tackle rural housing shortages – we can deliver further sustainable growth.”