Scotland’s salmon sector drives country’s post-pandemic return with nearly €875 million contribution

editorial staff

Salmon farming contributed £766 million (€874 million) to Scotland’s economy in 2021, as it recovered from the impact of the pandemic, according to the latest figures released by Salmon Scotland.

The industry had a direct economic contribution of £303 million (€345.7 million) in 2021, an increase of a fifth compared with the pre-pandemic levels of £254 million (€289.8 million) in 2019. The sector also indirectly contributed a further £397 million (€452.3 million) through the industry’s supply chain, according to the study, supporting jobs and businesses elsewhere in Scotland. In total, the salmon sector’s economic contribution to the region increased by nearly 20 percent in 2021, compared with 2019.

The study found that the industry also provided £66 million (€75.3 million) throughout employment costs, up 22.2 percent from the previous year, making the combined contribution to Scotland £766 million (€874 million).

Salmon Scotland’s Chief Executive Tavish Scott said that planned reforms to the industry, which are currently under consideration, could lead to the sector generating up to £1 billion (€1.1 billion) for the Scottish economy through further growth and expansion. At the moment, the salmon farming sector directly employs more than 2,500 people in coastal communities, with 10,000 jobs relying on the industry.

“Farm-raised salmon is the economic backbone of some of Scotland’s most isolated areas, creating thousands of local jobs and opportunities. Everyone in the sector is part of a global success story with the highest environmental and welfare standards that puts the best-tasting and healthiest protein product on people’s plates around the world,” Scott said.

“All this has been achieved by a dedicated workforce despite the incredible challenges of Covid and Brexit, so by tapping into salmon farming’s full potential I am confident the blue economy can deliver even greater benefits for local communities – and could be worth £1 billion (€1.1 billion) to the Scottish economy in just a few years,” Scott added.

“It is imperative that the Scottish Government enables a framework that is both transparent and efficient and the UK Government works to address the post-Brexit challenges at the border to ensure that Scottish salmon can turbocharge the country’s economy,” he concluded.


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