Scottish salmon production dropped 18% last year

Total production of Scottish farmed salmon fell by 36,199 tonnes during 2022, according to Scottish Government annual report.
View of a Scottish fish farm. Photo: Adobe Stock.
View of a Scottish fish farm. Photo: Adobe Stock.

The Scottish Government has released annual statistics on the Scottish fish farming sector, detailing the results and trends for aquaculture of salmon, rainbow trout and other species.

Figure from the Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey for 2022 show that production of Atlantic salmon during 2022 fell by 36,199 tonnes to a yearly total of 169,194 tonnes of live weight.

The production survey information provides figures for the entire industry operating in Scotland, with data collected from all 10 companies actively producing Atlantic salmon across 210 farming sites.

Overall, production was dominated by two companies in 2022 which between them accounted for 60% of Scotland's farmed Atlantic salmon production.

Increase in smolt, while trend continues for production concentrated in larger sites

Although total live weight of harvested salmon declined, the total number of salmon smolts produced in 2022 increased by 3.9 million (8%) to 55.1 million, compared with the previous year.

The trend towards concentrating production in larger sites was also maintained during 2022, with the statistics showing that 86% of production is concentrated in larger-scale sites producing over 1,000 tonnes per annum. Meanwhile, the total volume of sea pens utilised by the Scottish salmon industry expanded, increasing by 2.9 million cubic metres during 2022, although the number of productive sea pen sites actually decreased by three.

Larger operations also had higher levels of productivity, measured ar 121 tonnes per employee, achieved in companies producing over 10,001-30,000 tonnes per year.

Rainbow trout production reaches "highest level" recorded in Scotland

While salmon production declined, farmed rainbow trout had a record year during 2022, reaching its highest ever level of production volume.

The data, collected from all 20 companies actively involved in rainbow trout production, and across 46 active farming sites, showed that production tonnage increased by 7% in 2022 to 8,757 tonnes.

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