Scottish salmon leaps forward
Minister’s Norway visit a boost to aquaculture industry partnership.
Exports of fresh Scottish salmon have grown in value by 13 per cent compared to the same period last year.
In the first 5 months of 2013 the value of exports was £150 million compared with a value of £132 million for the same period in 2012.
The largest export market was to the United States which has grown in value over the same period from £69 million to £74 million.
The figures were unveiled by Minister for Environment & Climate Change, Paul Wheelhouse ahead of his visit to Norway to discuss industry experiences with Scotland’s key partner in aquaculture.
The Minister will discuss the shared commitment to the sustainability of a significant sector with the Norwegian Fisheries Minister Lisbeth Berg-Hansen. He will meet with industry experts and key players in the aquaculture industry at Trondheim’s AquaNor, one of the largest aquaculture trade shows, to discuss best practices and insights in meeting the growing demand for salmon from around the world.
Mr Wheelhouse has also been invited to visit the state of the art high capacity processing plant SalMar salmon farm and processing plant on Froya with representatives from Scottish Sea Farms.
This Ministerial visit comes ahead of the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act coming into force in September. The legislation puts sustainable economic growth with due regard to the environment at the core of the industry and creates a joined up approach between wild and farmed fisheries in Scotland’s natural marine environment.
In June, the First Minister officially opened Marine Harvest Scotland’s £16 million hatchery development at Lochailort, while the Scottish salmon farming industry has made record levels of investment with its £205 million five-year commitment. As a further sign of investor confidence in the sector, Scottish Sea Farms recently announced a £2 million investment in a new site at Loch Kishorn plus additional £5 million working capital investment every two years.
Speaking ahead of his visit, Mr Wheelhouse said:
“I am delighted to be visiting Norway to help promote Scotland’s aquaculture sector and the excellent seafood we produce.
“Scottish salmon is highly valued and recognised in countries across the globe for its quality and provenance and these latest statistics show that it remains very much at the forefront of Scotland’s food and drink export success; a truly distinctive Scottish brand recognised as such the world over.
“The aquaculture sector in Scotland is flourishing and the Scottish Government believes we now have the regulatory framework in place to help support the further growth of a sustainable and world-leading industry. In 2011 the industry was worth £588 million to Scotland, helping underpin sustainable economic growth, particularly in our rural and coastal communities where the employment is very much valued. Production continues to rise and sustainable growth is forecast to continue in the years to come, which is great news for Scotland’s future economic position.
“The Aquaculture and Fisheries Act, having been passed by the Scottish Parliament in May this year, will also help ensure the effective management of farmed and wild fisheries to maximise their combined contribution to the growth of the sector with due regard to the wider marine environment.
“I look forward to taking this forward in practice as chair of the Ministerial Group for Sustainable Aquaculture which will do vital collaborative work among Scottish Government, regulators, stakeholders and scientists to further refine technical standards and to manage the interactions between farmed and wild fisheries to ensure sustainable use of our much valued marine environment.”
Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation said:
"We welcome the Minister's recognition of the importance of the salmon farming industry. The long term sustainability of Scottish salmon farming is internationally recognised and just this weekend a delegation from Canada visited Scottish Sea Farms in South Shian to see the high standards we operate to.
“The growing global demand for Scottish salmon is great news for jobs and communities in rural Scotland and we aim to continue working constructively with Government and Local Authorities to achieve growth and economic benefits in these areas."
SDI chief executive Anne MacColl said:
"Scottish salmon is globally renowned as a high quality, nutritious and environmentally sustainable product, recently voted the best farmed salmon in the world in an independent poll of international seafood buyers.
"The fact that farmed salmon is now Scotland's largest food export underlines the contribution it makes to our economy and we work closely with our government and industry colleagues to support the industry in any way we can.
“As the largest aquaculture producer in the EU, supplying salmon to over 60 countries, Scotland's presence at key international events such as Aqua Nor is an excellent way for us to promote our key products and encourage further investment in the industry."