November 11, 2008
UK sees increment of 22 percent in salmon consumption
Consumption by British households of Scottish farmed salmon has risen by 22 percent over the past two years.
The increase, which represents an additional 40 million meals, is a boost for an industry that has fought criticism by marine environmentalists.
Scottish aquaculture, valued in excess of GBP400 million in 2006, is now second only to the beef sector (Â£467million) and ahead of the sheep, pig and commercial fishing sectors.
The renaissance of the Scottish industry, which is the third biggest salmon producer in the world, is also heralded by the Scottish government's consultation document, A Fresh Start, on a renewed strategy for fish farming.
In 1980, only 9 percent of fish consumed came from aquaculture as compared to the current 43 percent. A report in 2006 by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation said that aquaculture is the only way to meet the surging demand for seafood, and fish in general has been the fastest growing protein in the UK over the past eight years, up 64 percent in spending.
The annual survey of Scottish salmon production anticipates modest growth, from 129,930 tonnes in 2007 to approximately 136,000 tonnes in 2008.
Mark Thomson, from TNS Worldpanel has commented that one of the key priorities in the current economic climate is health and the popularity of fresh salmon continues to leap as its health benefits are increasingly recognised.
According to the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation, salmon farming supports 6,200 full and part-time jobs in remote, rural areas on the west coast and islands. The industry injects in excess of GBP197 million a year into Scottish businesses and salmon represents 40 percent of all Scottish food exports.
GBP1 = US$1.555 (Nov 11, 2008)