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Mussel production across Scotland reached a record 10,311 tonnes in 2023 – a 13% increase on 2022 figures – and Shetland continues to dominate the sector.

The Scottish Shellfish Farm Production survey, release by Marine Scotland, reveals that Shetland produced 8,694 tonnes of mussels in 2023, against 7,164 in 2022. A further 2,085 tonnes remain at sea to grow on.

Shetland also produced 3,000 Pacific oysters in 2023.

Ruth Henderson, chief executive of Seafood Shetland, said: “Shetland remains the highest shellfish-producing region in Scotland, accounting for almost 85% of the overall total. To deliver this, the region employs 91 people in full, part time, or casual employment.

“The production figures reflect the demand for Shetland’s premium quality product in what remains challenging trading conditions for the service sector, as the cost of living continues to reduce disposable income.

“Shellfish is a highly nutritious and environmentally sustainable source of protein that has an important role to play in feeding an expanding global population.

“The shellfish production industry is an important part of the wider seafood sector that sustains jobs, supports our rural communities, and contributes significantly to the wider economy. It is why we continue to stress upon the Scottish Government the importance of having adequate freight capacity to meet our islands current and future transport needs.”