Aquaculture is an increasingly important and expanding industry for Scotland, helping to sustain economic growth in the rural and coastal communities of the Highlands and Islands. Involving the farming or culturing of fish, molluscs, crustaceans and algae, it produces our most valuable food export. The Scottish aquaculture industry is dominated by Atlantic salmon farming, but also has significant production of rainbow trout and mussels.
The main types of Scottish aquaculture are:
- Finfish in cages, pens, raceways or tanks
- Shellfish on the seabed, on trestles, or suspended on ropes or nets
The Scottish Government supports the aquaculture industry’s target for sustainable growth. Using a 2011 baseline to update industry growth targets (referenced in the draft National Marine Plan) to 2020 provides:
- a 32% increase for marine fin fish, and
- at least 80% for shellfish especially mussels.