Aquaculture for all

Salmon farms: We'll need 100 million fish to be competitive

UK - More and larger salmon farms could be created in Scotland to help the industry significantly increase its annual output over the next decade.

Scotland has a great opportunity to boost production of farmed salmon, the producers' organisation has told

The Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO) wants to increase annual production from an estimated 137,000 tonnes to 200,000 tonnes by 2017 to improve competitiveness. This would mean around 100 million smolts (young fish) being put to sea over a two-year period.

Scotland is the world's third-biggest salmon producer, but the target output would be just a third of that produced by main players, Norway and Chile.

The production target was set out by Sid Patten, the SSPO's chief executive, in his response to a European Commission consultation on sustainable aquaculture development.

Mr Patten, who outlined the industry's plan to MSPs this week, added: "Aquaculture is the fastest-growing sector in the global production of food. But the EU's market share is declining. The industry in Scotland believes an enormous commercial opportunity is being missed."