Direct contribution of aquaculture to Scotland’s economy is £472 million; up 154% in a decade

Editorial Staff

Salmon accounts for 96% of the value created by the Scottish aquaculture sector. 

According to a new report by the Scottish Government, Scotland’s aquaculture sector has experienced a significant growth, with its direct economic contribution increasing by 154% to £472 million over the past decade.

Published on Wednesday, the Scottish government’s ‘marine economy statistics’ for 2021 highlight the crucial role of Scottish salmon, accounting for 96% of this sector.

In a robust recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Gross Value Added (GVA) of the sector rose by 30% from £362 million between 2020 and 2021. Employment in the sector also saw a 20% increase over the decade.

The overall marine economy in Scotland generated £4.5 billion in 2021, with oil and gas leading at £1.88 billion, despite a 37% decrease over the decade. Marine tourism contributed £494 million, followed by aquaculture. Additionally, fishing and shipbuilding contributed £321 million and £403 million, respectively, to the Scottish economy.

The report does not account for the wider supply chain of the salmon sector, which also contributes significantly to the economy. The industry provides around 2,500 direct jobs and supports approximately 10,000 indirect jobs in Scotland.

Tavish Scott, Chief Executive of Salmon Scotland, commented on the findings, emphasizing the importance of salmon farming in the Highlands and Islands.

“The hard work of Scotland’s salmon farmers in the Highlands and islands directly generates £1.3 million every day for Scotland’s economy, fuelled by increasing demand for our nutritious fish at home and abroad,” he said. “We can deliver further sustainable growth with the continued support of government and more streamlined regulation, ensuring the extraordinary success story of Scottish salmon remains something we can all be incredibly proud of.”


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