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U.K. customs statistics have shown revenue from Scottish salmon makes up more than half of the value of all seafood exports from the country, and over 40 percent of the total value of seafood exports from the U.K.
Fresh and chilled Scottish salmon exports alone made up 33 percent of the total U.K.’s seafood export value, according to Salmon Scotland. When smoked and processed salmon are also included in that total, the industry represents 41 percent of the total trade value, or GBP 705 million (USD 862.2 million, EUR 801.2 million).
“Despite a series of economic challenges last year, Scottish salmon farmers continued to meet international demand for the U.K.’s most popular food export,” Salmon Scotland Chief Executive Tavish Scott said.
According to the HMRC statistics, 66 percent of Scottish salmon exports were sent to the E.U., and the U.S. and China continue to remain top markets.
“This is a phenomenal success story that we can all be very proud of, supporting thousands of jobs in remote areas of the country and contributing hundreds of millions of pounds towards public services,” Scott said. “With further responsible and sustainable growth, and with the support of both the Scottish and U.K. governments, we can continue to build on this success.”
In total, Scottish exports of fish and seafood reached GBP 1.04 billion (USD 1.2 billion, EUR 1.1 billion) in 2022 – a 2 percent increase compared to 2021.
The new totals also mean that Scottish salmon is the single-largest U.K. food export by value – topping bakery goods, chocolate, cheese, cereals, and lamb, according to Salmon Scotland. It does, however, still trail Scotch whisky, which reached an export value of more than GBP 6 billion (USD 7.3 billion, EUR 6.8 billion) for the first time in 2022, according to the Scotch Whisky Association. 
Exports of fresh, whole Scottish salmon exports dropped 6 percent in value compared to 2021 to GBP 578 million (USD 706 million, EUR 656 million). Exported salmon volumes from Scotland dropped 26 percent in 2022, which Salmon Scotland said “reflected tight supplies globally” and the increased sales domestically. 
Separately, a recent Scottish government report indicated the country’s salmon farmers delivered GBP 3.3 billion (USD 4 billion, EUR 3.7 billion) to the country’s economy in the last decade. It also found that salmon farming in Scotland contributed GBP 362 million (USD 442 million, EUR 411 million) in 2020, up from GBP 206 million (USD 251 million, EUR 234 million) in 2011. All told, salmon accounts for 96 percent of the country’s aquaculture value.
“Scottish salmon generates vital wealth for the country, and specifically for our islands and Highland coastal communities,” Scott said. “All this has been achieved despite the incredible challenges of Covid and Brexit, and with the right government support – streamlined regulation, a more business-friendly approach to immigration in the post-Brexit environment, and action to tackle rural housing shortages – we can deliver further sustainable growth.”  
Photo courtesy of Salmon Scotland
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