Is Scottish salmon farming depleting wild fish stocks?

No, Scottish salmon farming is not depleting the oceans of wild fish stocks. Scottish salmon farmers are committed to ensuring that ingredients derived from wild fish, used in our fish feed, comes from managed, certified sustainable fisheries – we don’t currently use feed ingredients sourced from West African fisheries.

Our sector has committed to achieving full traceability of all of its feed ingredients, along with major investments in feed and monitoring technologies to maximise the efficient use of feed to minimise any wastage and potential impact.

The global annual availability of fishmeal and fish oil each year hovers at around 6 million metric tonnes – the majority of which goes into producing feeds for pets, land-based livestock and a diverse array of aquaculture. Currently, Scottish salmon production uses just 0.75% of the total available global volume of these two high quality, nutritious ingredients.

Did You Know? Almost a third of the marine ingredients used in Scottish salmon feed are actually a by-product from trimmings of fish being processed for human consumption.

Our current Fish In Fish Out (FIFO) ratio sector benchmark for Scottish salmon is around 0.81 and this is based on a Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR), of 1.23:1. This means that it currently takes 1.23kg of pelletised feed to produce 1kg of salmon and, of that 1.23kg, approx. 24.9% is fishmeal. Of that fishmeal, approx. 26.3% is fishmeal derived from trimmings and by-products from seafood in the human food chain. This translates to a FIFO ratio of around 0.81 for Scottish salmon but this comes with the proviso that different producers feed their fish on different diets and these diets may vary in the volumes of ingredients that they use.

With a FIFO ratio of 0.81, that makes us a net producer of fish – in simple terms the Scottish salmon sector produces more fish than we use.

Salmon feeding off the coast of Cava (Orkney)

How are Scottish salmon farmed?

Watch this short video to discover the people behind Scotland’s number one food export. See our farmers busy at work and get a flavour of some of the local businesses that help make salmon farming one of Scotland’s greatest economic success stories.

See the stunning natural environment, powerful currents and pure clear waters of the Orkney isles which are home to 135 of our workers. We are Scottish salmon.

What is FEAP?

FEAP is the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers. The Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) is one of its 22 members.

As the united voice of the European aquaculture production industry, FEAP supports and promotes the responsible development of aquaculture and provides the common positions and opinions of the European aquaculture sector.

What is ISFA?

ISFA is the International Salmon Farmers Association. It is an umbrella organization comprised of national and regional associations from around the world, including the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO).

ISFA members share a common vision and dedication to helping our farmers and industry professionals produce healthy food, revitalize coastal communities and build vibrant businesses.

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