PRODUCTION of Scottish farmed salmon is at its highest level since 2003, statistics published today have revealed.
According to the Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2013 report, 163,234 tonnes of farmed Atlantic salmon was produced in 2013, the highest recorded production since 2003.
The farmgate value of farmed salmon was £677 million last year, an increase of 26 per cent compared to the previous year.
The Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse said:
‘Scotland is famed for the delicious, high quality and healthy farmed fish and shellfish we produce in our clear and pristine waters. Our salmon is in demand around the world and I am pleased with the continued sustainable growth in 2013.
‘Our aquaculture industry is globally recognised as a leader in best practice and employs directly around 2,000 people across Scotland, many in remote and rural communities.
‘Scotland’s Aquaculture sector is now estimated to be worth £1.75 billion to the Scottish economy overall.
‘If sustained, the sector is well on its way to generating over £2 billion annually for the Scottish economy and supporting 10,000 jobs by 2020 many of which are in some of Scotland’s most remote and rural communities.
‘This success is underpinned by a robust regulatory framework in Scotland that is appropriate and strikes the right balance between growing the aquaculture sector and protecting the marine environment, enhanced by the Aquaculture & Fisheries (Scotland) Act which commenced in September 2013.
‘I look forward to engaging further with the sector and key stakeholders on the development of the sector through the Ministerial Group on Sustainable Aquaculture and to supporting their efforts to develop the sector sustainably.’