The Fish Farmer Yearbook is out now online

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The Fish Farmer Year Book is out now, and you can read it online here. It will also be available in a hard copy format with the December issue of Fish Farmer.

We’re delighted to have a foreword from Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands with the Scottish Government, and a feature article from Tavish Scott, CEO of Salmon Scotland.

The review of the past year includes not only a reminder of the big stories that played out during 2023, but also details from two important reports charting the industry in Scotland: the Fish Farm Production Survey and the Scottish Shellfish Production Survey. Both of these cover 2022, the most recent period for which definitive figures are available.

The headline to take away from the Fish Farm Production Survey is that production of Atlantic salmon – the most significant element in Scottish aquaculture – declined by 18% in 2022, compared with the previous year.

There is no doubt that the severe biological challenges experienced during 2022 were a key factor, and the news stories throughout 2023 show that these have not gone away, in Scotland or indeed in other parts of the world.

Salmon farmers have also had to manage their relationship with the wider community and with government. In Norway, for example, this year saw the ground rent tax or “salmon tax” come into force, in the face of vociferous protests from the industry and what looks like a resultant slowdown in investment.

In Canada a long debate continues about the future of salmon farming on the country’s Pacific coast, with both sides citing the interests of Canada’s First Nations to support their case.

In Scotland we saw controversy over proposals for Highly Protected Marine Areas, but the industry welcomed the Scottish Government’s long-awaited Vision for Aquaculture.

Meanwhile the shellfish sector has had its own battles to fight, facing not only biological issues but also man-made challenges such as water quality, regulation and trade barriers.

“Sustainability” has been a key theme for aquaculture around the world and this is not likely to change any time soon. Looking back at the news for 2023, however, it is clear that aquaculture can also offer solutions to wider issues of sustainability, worldwide.

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Fish Farmer magazine June 2024 cover

The June 2024 issue of Fish Farmer magazine is out now online