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Harvesting salmon at site run by Cooke Aquaculture Scotland, off Westray. Image: Rob Fletcher
Harvesting salmon at site run by Cooke Aquaculture Scotland, off Westray. Image: Rob Fletcher

The latest economic report on Scotland’s salmon farming industry highlights a 16% increase in capital investment year-on-year, rising to £63.1 million during 2015 - a statistic which suggests the confidence in the long-term future of the sector.

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The report, which was published today (29th November) by the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) also looks at pay, employment, training, local and national economic benefits and exports.

Introducing the findings, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing, said: “This Government is committed to driving forward the rural economy, building growth across Scotland’s rural and coastal communities, and salmon aquaculture and its service and supply chain has a key role to play. It sustains employment and provides investment, particularly in some of Scotland’s most remote coastal communities, creating new jobs and career opportunities for young people and modern apprenticeships.”

The Highlands and Islands benefit particularly from salmon farming, with total gross pay rising by 12% to a total of £71 million. Wider economic benefits are also highlighted, with more than 2300 companies – from equipment suppliers to hotels – in the Highlands & Islands doing £147-worth of business with salmon farming firms.

The report shows that the workforce has reshaped towards more full-time jobs, indicating long-term employment and career prospects. Companies continue their commitment to training, with 91 salmon farming workers involved in Modern Apprenticeships or National Progression Awards.

While currency issues during 2015 affected exports, market confidence returned this year and positive export figures for 2016 are anticipated early next year.

Scott Landsburgh
Scott Landsburgh

Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of SSPO, said: “The last few years have seen an increased confidence in salmon farming, based on the quality of our fish, the international recognition of our standards of production and the investment in people, technology and innovation. This is an important boost to local and national economies and I’m delighted that the results in this report continue to emphasise how important salmon farming is to Scotland’s food industry and the wider economy.”

 

 

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