PRODUCTION of Scottish farmed salmon has leapt to its highest ever level, statistics published today have revealed.
According to the Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2014 report, 179,022 tonnes of farmed Atlantic salmon was produced in 2014.
That is the highest level of production ever recorded in Scotland, and an increase of almost 10 per cent on the previous year.
Rainbow trout, halibut and brown/sea trout production also increased.
The survey also reveals an increase in the number of people working across all Scottish fin fish production, from 1,625 in 2013 to 1,796 in 2014, an increase of 10 per cent.
The estimated farm gate value of all fin fish was £733.4 million last year, an increase of 6.2 per cent compared to the previous 12 months.
Environment minister Aileen McLeod (pictured) said: ‘This record year of 179,022 tonnes of Atlantic salmon production is great news for Scotland and reaffirms our global position among the leading producer nations.
‘Salmon is a key part of our economy, providing employment and investment, particularly in some of our most remote, coastal communities.
‘Salmon is Scotland’s number one food export and is highly valued across the world for its exceptional quality and provenance.
‘These figures reflect the great and growing demand at home and abroad for delicious and healthy fish and shellfish produced in Scotland’s clear and pristine waters to the highest standards of best practice, welfare and food hygiene.
‘Aquaculture revenue in Scotland is now estimated to be worth £1.86 billion annually to the economy, an increase of £110 million year-on-year, and supports over 8,300 jobs.
‘If industry’s sustainable growth targets, supported by the Scottish government, are met this value will rise to well over £2 billion a year and support 10,000 jobs across Scotland by 2020.’