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 Scotland’s aquaculture industry to achieve sustainable growth targets, with due regard to the marine environment, by 2020.
- To grow marine finfish production sustainably to 210,000 tonnes (164,380 tonnes in 2012*) and;
- To increase shellfish production (especially mussels) to 13,000 tonnes (from 6,525 tonnes in 2012)
*salmon 162,223; marine rainbow trout 2,076, halibut 73; sea trout 8.