From its Victorian tradition of cultivating salmon eggs and juvenile fish for restocking and enhancing rivers, Scottish ingenuity developed in the early 1970s to discover how to rear Atlantic salmon to maturity. From these early achievements, the salmon industry has strived to produce high quality food, available to everyone, working with its neighbours so that everyone can benefit from Scotland’s natural resources.
Production has increased from 14 tonnes in 1971 to 163,000 tonnes in 2013.
The industry has stood the test of time, growing sustainably over 40 years to become Scotland’s leading food export. Research and development have kept pace with production, allowing salmon farmers to improve standards of fish welfare, while still taking account of the need to preserve the unique Scottish environment which is vital to the health and quality of the fish growing within it. A decade-by-decade illustrated history of one major producer’s development since the 1960s shows how far we have come.
Scotland is now the largest farmed salmon producing country in the EU, which is only 40% self-sufficient in supply of seafood.
At 163,234 tonnes, Scottish salmon production in 2013 was worth £677 million. The 0.6 per cent growth over 2012 tonnage follows steady increases in recent years and puts production at its highest level since 2003.