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July 21st 2023

The Scottish Government has today published its long-term vision for the nation’s aquaculture sector, recognising its “crucial role” in contributing to food security, net zero and high-skilled jobs.

Salmon Scotland, the body which represents the farm-raised salmon sector, has welcomed the publication.

As well as being the UK’s largest food export, Scottish salmon generates £760 million for the local economy every year and makes up 9.4 per cent of the entire marine economy, ahead of fisheries at 7.3 per cent.

Scottish salmon farms directly employ 2,500 people and support more than 3,600 suppliers, with a further 10,000 jobs dependent on farm-raised salmon.

Salmon has one the lowest carbon footprints of any farm-raised animal, with the sector adopting a pledge to become net zero in greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, while the fish grown sustainably in the sea off the west coast and the islands are one of the most nutritious foods to eat given their high protein and vitamin D levels.

Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said:

“We welcome this vision which puts salmon farming at the heart of the country’s economic growth plans, helping Scotland’s journey to net zero and supporting healthy diets.

“The blue economy has the potential to both increase food security at home and feed the growing global population.

“Scotland is uniquely placed to lead the way in the drive for the sustainable use of the oceans and seas, while conserving our shared environment for future generations.

“Like all sectors, we face challenges from issues ranging from climate change to Brexit to rampant inflation, but by working together with government we can continue to grow a low carbon, highly nutritious food that sustains thousands of jobs and ensures our rural communities can thrive.”