The value of aquaculture produced seafood in Scotland is over £467 million in production and is listed in the world league table of food production as the fastest growing sector. Consumers in Scotland now enjoy five times more shellfish and fish than they did in 1984 and Scotland’s Food and Drink Strategy recognising the fish/shellfish industries importance to the healthy, natural and organic market, aquaculture is recognised as a very high growth market with real competitive potential.
The authority informed that with the diminishing stocks of cod and other wild species, global aquaculture production will have to double by the year 2030 to keep up with the demand. In this context Scottish Enterprise wants to maximise the opportunities offered by the development of aquaculture and encourage established Scottish fish farmers to innovate and take full advantage of the growth potential of fish production.
Research conducted by the Institute of Aquaculture at Stirling University has identified that tilapia has been recognised as a highly suitable species of fish for low cost aquaculture as they can be grown on an herbivorous and protein diet. It also shows that the demand for tilapia is going high with each passing day.
Kate Henderson of Scottish Enterprise commented that the company is focusing on industries with the potential to drive better economic growth and aquaculture is high on the list just now. The company is now looking to identify interested individuals and companies within Scotland who may already be an existing fish farmer, a farmer looking to diversify or processor.