As Scottish exports boom, Scottish salmon exports reach a record high with a 70% increase in just one quarter



Scottish salmon exports were £346m in just the first half of 2017. Indeed, sales of £190 million were racked up in just Q2. That increase on the 2016 Q2 figure of 19 000 tonnes to 29 000 tonnes in Q2 2017 is a whopping 70%!

This suggests Scotland’s trade balance is going from strength to strength as the rest of the UK struggles with a massive deficit triggering inevitably its huge debt. See these as a reminder:

England runs massive trade deficit. Only Scotland has a viable sustainable economy, exporting more than she imports thus requiring no national debt

With only 8% of the population, Scotland accounts for more than 28% of UK food and drink exports. Too wee to survive on our own?

The biggest buyers are the USA and China which is up from zero to £90 million in only seven years.

This BBC website story suggests that this success comes despite the industry having to spend £30 million per year fighting sea lice. I thought I’d read that they had found a cheapish solution.

The Ballan Wrasse is a cleaner fish that eats the sea lice which were responsible for problems with the Salmon. Does it cost £30 million per year to put them in the cages with the Salmon? It’s a natural solution much preferable to a chemical one, I’d say.

 The chair of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation said:

‘In particular, we want to highlight the successful introduction of wrasse as a very effective and environmentally friendly way to keep salmon free of lice, which occur naturally in the water. A significant variety of marine life thrives around salmon farms, something which is not fully recognised by regulators.’

Did they spend £20 million identifying the role of the Wrasse? Seems a lot.

4 thoughts on “As Scottish exports boom, Scottish salmon exports reach a record high with a 70% increase in just one quarter

  1. Contrary August 14, 2017 / 7:07 pm

    I will remain sceptical about the ‘wealth of marine life’ around salmon farms – a big problem is the waste produced by intensive farming & indeed the chemicals to stop the salmon dying of disease. If I remember correctly, the wrasse are more sensitive to water quality, it was something like that anyway, so reckon the £20 million was spent on research to make them viable. If they are successfully using them now, that’s great news! Certainly should have less impact on local ecology, and better quality salmon at the end.


  2. Alan Gordon August 14, 2017 / 9:47 pm

    I cannot give a breakdown of the 20 or 30million pound spend. However local creel boats catch and deliver the wrasse for the salmon companies and the payment can be generous. It is not a new idea 30/40 years ago it was noticed that when wild salmon and sea trout were waiting to swim up river wrasse could be seen moving among the waiting fish eating lice. The early fish farmers started putting wrasse and lumpsuckers, another cleaner fish, in their cages. To get the best effect the nets have to be clean, all the time, this is an additional cleaning cost beyond the normal. Hydrogen peroxide, in mild solution has been used for a few years. The fish would be swam through for a few minutes and then returned to the sea water. This had limited success and didn’t produce long term pollution. The latest is to use fresh water produced from a type of desalination plant, this is proving very effective against lice.

    Couple of hundred years of agriculture and we are still leaving a mess behind. Pesticide residues, nitrates in the water etc. Fish farming, been around for about 40 years and, as far as I can evaluate, each problem is tackled and solved. I’ve worked in agriculture and fish farming. The developments to be rolled out in mainstream fish farming, over the next decade is staggering.


  3. johnrobertson834 August 15, 2017 / 7:29 am

    Thanks both for very stimulating and critical comment – welcomed.


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