Scotland’s harvesting fell by more than 33,000 tonnes last year

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It’s down by almost 18 per cent, according to the latest Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey.

156,025 tonnes of salmon was harvested in the country last year. That’s 33,682 tonnes down on 2017.

There was also a big drop in the harvesting tonnage of rainbow trout. That’s down by 16 per cent to 6,413 tonnes.

But, the harvesting of salmon is expected to pick-up again this year with the survey from Marine Scotland Science predicting an increase in tonnage for 2019 of 34,474.

An increase is also expected for rainbow trout. The tonnage expected for 2019 is set at 8,379.

Julie Hesketh-Laird, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO), said: “The long-term outlook for Scottish salmon production remains strong driven by focused investment by farmers. Farm-raised salmon spend more than 18 months at sea, allowing farmers to anticipate annual production levels.”

“The anticipated dip in production in 2018 was the result of a one-off adjustment by farmers on stocking the year before to ensure control over some biological issues which had been witnessed in previous years. The result was that in 2018 there were fewer fish in the water to harvest.”

“The outlook for 2019 is good with production predicted to be up because of adjusted stocking levels and good continued management of fish health, and in line with the general trend of growth which has characterised the Scottish salmon sector over the last few years.”

The survey collects its data from fish farming businesses who operate in Scotland.