SCOTTISH salmon production has risen to its highest level in six years.
Last year saw a 6.9% increase in Scottish Farmed Salmon numbers.
The 154,164 tonnes produced last year was worth £540 million to the Scottish economy, an increase of more than 30% on 2009 figures, reflecting increases in both prices and production.
Commenting on the Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2010, Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson said: “Scotland is a global player in farmed salmon – the largest in the EU and third in the world alongside Norway and Chile.
“I’m pleased that the industry has been able to achieve steady growth in farmed salmon production once again this year, demonstrating that demand for quality Scottish Farmed Salmon remains very high.
“Today’s impressive figures show that salmon farming continues to dominate fish production in Scotland, which is unsurprising given that new international markets are opening up, with more people than ever before choosing to include healthy, Omega-3 rich salmon in their diet.
“The survey shows direct employment in the fish farming industry has increased by over 100 to some 1,500 people. With many more indirect jobs supported, this provides an importance contribution to the Scottish economy, particularly in rural communities in the West Highlands, Western and Northern Isles.
“The Scottish Government is confident that in the coming years we can continue to see managed and sustainable growth in the sector, while ensuring high environmental and fish health standards.”
The figures also show thatScotland’s total rod catch for wild salmon was the highest on record, with 110,496 salmon caught, up 31 per cent on the previous five year average