In a recent article, in The Scotsman, Nikos Steiropoulos highlights the transition to come in the following years for the aquaculture industry of Scotland; in particular, the farming of salmon.
A fun fact Steiropoulos briefs over to begin the article is that salmon is the number one food-based export of Scotland. So, subsequently the economy of Scotland is partially reliant on the supply and demand of their high-quality product, which is exported to and sold all over the world in more than 60 countries (Steiropoulos 2017).
In order to support such a massive export, the salmon supply chain in Scotland is one of high complexity in regards the full cycle responsibilities (fishing/farming, processing, packaging, and logistics). The aquaculture of Scotland remains at the forefront of sustainable development and management, and the country has a reputation to uphold of a quality, healthy product.
Being a product in such high demand, remaining quality, and bearing a sustainably managed supply chain, salmon and trout fishing has become an area of great interest for future of the Scottish economic growth. For these reasons the Scottish Government has set aggressive growth targets for the industry to double its production by 2030. This kind of growth model puts pressure on quality standards as the boundaries of production quantity will be put to the test.
Steiropoulous remarks that some of the biggest factors for success in this expansion of production will be the support of innovative technology, and scientific/medical research. But, he realizes their working with a product that is highly risk-related, living and can be unpredictable.
“We will continue to support farms with leading-edge, innovative means of tackling disease prevention. Indeed, fish health is a multi-faceted area that requires constant vigilance and readiness – as in every other farmed animal production system. The Scottish aquaculture industry has proven it is up to the task and new areas of best practice are constantly being developed.”
Will the fish industry of Scotland meet it's new government targets or flounder in the attempt to expand production?