The Fish Farmer Year Book 2022 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.
The Year Book gives us an opportunity to look back over the big news stories over the past 12 months, as well as chewing over the data in the two major production reports from Marine Scotland Science: the Fish Farm Production Survey and the Scottish Shellfish Production Survey.
The surveys, collated for 2020 outputs through the past year, give a granular picture of what a challenging 12 months meant for aquaculture in Scotland. While the first year living under the shadow of the pandemic was certainly challenging, the figures pay tribute to the resilience of the sector.
We’re also delighted to have a foreword from Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands with the Scottish Government, and a feature article from Tavish Scott, CEO of Salmon Scotland.
“The new normal” is an over-used phrase, but it does sum up the times we live in. Neither the pandemic, nor Brexit, have stopped change or progress in aquaculture. We have seen investment continuing, in new farm developments and new technology, and the academic community has added still further to our understanding of the species we farm and the threats to health and wellbeing that they face.
During the past year the industry has also tentatively returned to in-person events, with major gatherings like Norway’s Aqua Nor and the European Aquaculture Society’s annual conference once again able to take place safely.
We’ve seen further consolidation in the industry and some fiercely contested takeover battles, notably over Norway Royal Salmon and Tasmania’s Huon Aquaculture, while the question mark long hanging over Grieg Seafood’s Shetland assets looks as if it has been answered.
This has also been a year when the industry has been called on to answer its critics more urgently than ever before – in Scotland, Norway, Australia, Canada, South America and indeed around the world.
Despite that we’ve also seen international bodies, such as the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation, endorse aquaculture as a major contributor to feeding a growing human population sustainably and with due regard for the environment.
Aquaculture is part of all our futures and I look forward to seeing what 2022 brings.
Robert Outram, Editor