A debate in the House of Commons yesterday (17thJuly) highlighted the importance of Scottish salmon farming to the UK economy.
Stephen Kerr MP said that Scottish salmon is worth more than £1bn to the UK, according to 2017 figures. As the UK’s largest food export Scottish salmon is also more valuable than the entire UK fishing sector, he said.The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Robert Goodwill, highlighted the wider economic impact across the supply chain of around 12,000 jobs and £620M in gross added value.
Employment in salmon farming provides valued jobs in remote, rural communities in the Highlands and Islands.With an average salary of £34,000 the sector provides well-paid, sustainable jobs which allow people to live and work in the areas they were brought up in.
While today’s salmon farming sector invests heavily in cutting edge innovation and scientific expertise to shape its development –its roots date back to 1873 when the historic fishery at Howietoun in Stirlingshire was created by Sir James Maitland.Many of the methods used at the introduction of salmon farming in the 1970s were developed there.
Salmon farming was described as high tech, high growth and low carbon.The combination of innovation and R&D, growing demand for high quality fish and the lowest C02 emissions of pork, chicken or beef has contributed to the economic success of the sector and the benefits to the Scottish and UK economies.