The following post is an excerpt from the Executive Summary of the 2017 Value of Scottish Aquaculture Report. Find the Executive Summary here: Executive Summary – Value of Scottish Aquaculture and the Full Report here: Full Report – Value of Scottish Aquaculture 2017

This impact study was commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Marine Scotland (MS) to understand the composition of the aquaculture sector in Scotland and consider the opportunities and challenges relating to the potential growth of the sector and its wider value chain through to 2030. The aquaculture sector in Scotland spans finfish, shellfish and seaweed.

This study report provides material that will help inform the considerations of the newly formed Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group (AILG) and complements the industry-led strategic plan, “Aquaculture Growth to 2030”, published in October 2016, which sets out the industry’s objectives and aspirations for growth (broadly to double production by 2030), and recommends steps that should be taken to achieve this.

Also, the new strategy, “Ambition 2030”, published in March 2017 by the industry body, Scotland Food & Drink, concludes that there is an opportunity to approximately double the turnover in the food and drink sector in Scotland by 2030.

The report has drawn on recent and trend data collated by Marine Scotland, Seafish and others on production, employment, distribution of activity within Scotland, supply chain linkages, etc.
Our interpretation of this information was aided through speaking to representative organisations across the aquaculture spectrum, businesses, and public bodies involved in supporting and regulating the industry and granting permissions and leases for new developments.

These contacts also provided insights into the perspectives and plans of key businesses, which confirmed the strong growth aspirations up to 2030 that underpin the industry’s new strategic plan and their appetite and financial capacity to commit the required investment. In order to assess the potential growth in economic impacts from aquaculture in Scotland up to 2030, our consultations with organisations and businesses spanned, for each aquaculture sub-sector: market development (UK and overseas); growth capacity at existing sites; potential new production sites; potential growth in productivity and processing; supply chain growth as output grows; innovations that would increase productivity; workforce development requirements; and potential constraints – including reduced production in particular years due to disease, sea lice and other biological causes, regulatory controls (including biomass limits and planning consents), the ramifications of the UK leaving the EU, international competition, and sufficient labour supply.

How these and other positive and negative factors will play out will determine the nature and extent of growth across the aquaculture sector in Scotland, and two indicative scenarios are given for employment and GVA (Gross Value Added) impacts that might stem from particular output growth scenarios by 2021, 2025 and 2030.