Salmon is of such importance to the Scottish economy, with a global retail sales value of over 1 billion pounds per annum, that it has a specific priority within the wider seafood sector

Richard Lochhead MSP
Fisheries Secretary, Scottish Government, January 2011

Facts & Figures

Facts & Figures

Facts and figures on Scotland's No. 1 food export

International recognition of quality and provenance

  • Scottish farmed salmon has held the French Government's top quality award, Label Rouge, for the past 21 years.  It was the first non-French food to receive this accolade
  • Scottish farmed salmon has been awarded Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status by the European Commission, setting it alongside Champagne, Arbroath Smokies and Parma Ham

The growth in the UK salmon market

  • 1 million fresh salmon meals are eaten in the UK every day
  • 1 million smoked salmon meals are eaten in the UK every week
  • Additional 40m servings of fresh salmon were consumed in UK households between 2006 and 2008
  • Fresh fish has been the fastest growing protein over the last 8 years, up 64% in spend

Export performance of Scottish farmed salmon

  • Salmon is Scotland's largest food export
  • The worldwide retail value of Scottish farmed salmon is over £1 billion
  • Over 60 countries imported fresh Scottish salmon in 2012
  • USA is the largest export market for Scottish farmed salmon, followed by France, with growing volumes heading to emerging markets such as the Far East and Middle East

Salmon tops the RSPCA's Freedom Food chart

  • Scottish farmed salmon tops the RSPCA's Freedom Food chart , with over 90% of production expecting to participate in this stringent animal welfare scheme within the next 2 years. 
  • The higher welfare scheme for farmed animals from the leading animal charity covers every stage of a farm animal's life, including husbandry, stocking density, handling, transportation and harvesting.  Salmon is by far the largest sector to have invested in the scheme

Increasing importance to the economy

  • SSPO member companies created 76 new jobs during the last year (2012)
  • SSPO members have invested over £267M million in capital projects over the last seven years
  • 77% of SSPO member companies plan to increase staff 
  • SSPO member companies employ a total of 2200 people
  • Scottish Government estimates that 6,200 jobs are reliant on the aquaculture industry in Scotland

The only way to meet the surging demand for seafood

  • Aquaculture now accounts for nearly 50% of the world's food fish.  In 1980 only 9% of the fish consumed by people came from aquaculture
  • The UN FAO reports that sustainable aquaculture is the only way to meet the surging demand for seafood