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The bounty of seas

From the Highlands to the Lowlands, from the calm of our sea lochs to the wild waters of the outer islands, Scotland is blessed with a well-stocked seafood larder.

The quality of Scotland’s waters and the skills of our fishermen have for a long time guaranteed bulging nets and full stomachs for our coastal communities. And we’re not selfish - we’ve always loved to share our good fortune. From the Baltic trade in salted herring in the Middle Ages, to today’s air-freighted cargoes, which supply the freshest Scottish seafood to the world’s top restaurants and fish markets, everyone, it seems, puts a premium on Scottish seafood.

Scottish highlands landscape loch and fish farm

Cold, clean waters make Scotland's seafood some of the best in the world

Seafood fans fall for our produce hook, line and sinker

Man has always savoured succulent seafood. Archaeologists in Scotland are forever finding mounds of discarded shells and bones from seafood feasts enjoyed millennia ago by our distant forebears.

While today’s table and eating habits may have changed, the quality of the fare - tasty, briny, and glistening - can’t be improved. With over 12,000 kilometres of pristine coastline, deep sea lochs and some of the coldest and cleanest waters in Europe, Scotland sits at the top table when it comes to supplying seafood to the world. 

From Europe to the Americas, the Middle East to the Far East, as well as the emerging market in mainland China, buyers set great store by the quality, freshness and flavour of Scotland’s seafood harvest.

Two fishermen with a catch

With a modern fleet numbering in excess of 2,000 boats, manned by some 5,000 fishermen, landing more than 65 quality species, the Scottish industry accounts for more than 539,000 tonnes of seafood per year and exports to over 100 countries around the world.

Charles Carroll President, WorldChefs

Scale of seafood sector's success offers net gain for Scotland

From prime shellfish to white and oily fish, the variety, quality and health benefits of Scotland’s catch can’t be bettered.

  • We are already one of the largest seafood producers in Europe. In 2016, fish and shellfish exports totalled over £756million – up 26% on 2015.
  • The world’s top chefs put a premium on our produce. Scottish Seafood was the official partner of the World Gourmet Summit in Singapore in 2016.
  • Scotland has one of the most modern fishing fleets in Europe, with our global trade and transport links ensuring that produce arrives in the world’s kitchens and markets as fresh as the day it was landed or harvested.
  • Over two thirds of the world’s langoustines, one of the world’s premium seafood products, are sourced from Scottish waters. Add in our prime mussels, crab, oysters and lobsters, and you already have all the makings of a shellfish feast.
Mussels cooked
Man smoking salmon
White fish grilled
Man smokies water cauldron

No bones about it

Whether it be wild or farmed fish or shellfish, Scotland's processing industry has the skills and technology to ensure ship to plate satisfaction.

Founded on tradition, yet with an eye on the future, the industry has invested in modern equipment, systems and training to ensure a highly skilled, specialist workforce. Through constant innovation, and product and staff development, our processors have both the agility and ability to adapt to changing market needs and consumer tastes, ensuring Scotland continues to serve up high quality, fully traceable, safe and delicious seafood products.


Sustainable supply

Sustainability is key to Scotland's continuing success.

The industry is highly managed and regulated, to ensure responsible fishing practices are employed, causing minimal impact on the marine environment. Scottish fish farmers and fishermen consider themselves custodians of the sea and are proud to follow best practice to ensure a continued living for themselves and future generations. 

Scotland holds more Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) accreditations than most EU countries and has been a pioneer for alternative approaches, such as the Conservation Credits scheme.

woman with white fish

Scotland holds more Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) accreditations than most EU countries 

Scottish Monkfish with Quinoa Golden Beets and a Teriyaki Sauce
Scottish Seafood Tempura in Spicy Sweet and Sour Sauce
A Symphony of Scottish Seafood

The clean plate test

Scottish seafood has always been renowned for its quality and flavour. For Michelin-starred chefs and home and hobby cooks, from Barcelona’s bustling La Boqueria market to the air-conditioned cool of the shellfish bars of Hong Kong and the Middle East, Scottish seafood takes centre stage.

Old flavours, new favourites

At home, more and more Scots are rediscovering a taste for local seafood and shellfish. From Scotland’s bustling harbours, to the high-end restaurants of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scots-landed delicacies are proving to be menu favourites.

From ship to shore

The freshness and flavour of our seafood is also helping to boost both domestic and international tourism, with a variety of ‘seafood trails’ allowing visitors to follow their dinner from producer to plate. Ask the hungry crowds gathered around the seafood stalls on Oban pier what they think of the local produce, and you’ll get a mayonnaise and prawn-shell covered thumbs up.


A healthy haul

The top ten species in Scotland are: cod, crab, haddock, herring, langoustine, lobster, mackerel, monkfish, whiting and scallops. Add to that our world-class wild and farmed mussels and oysters, and you understand why our fishermen take such pride in their work. 

For them, fishing is not just a job - it’s a way of life, one which has shaped their communities and families. As a result, sustainability and responsible fishing are uppermost in their mind. 

They are out in all weathers, working to meet the needs of today’s consumers and the ambitions of the world’s best chefs. Together, with the backing and support of the trade body, Seafood Scotland, they aim to develop and enhance the industry’s competitive performance, quality practices and global reputation for sustainable and high quality produce.

Harbour

Scottish seafood seasonal guide

Seasonal guide to Scottish seafood

Scotland produces some of the world’s finest seafood.

Our seasonal guide provides a wealth of information on Scotland’s key seafood species including where they are caught, availability by month, weight, flavour and cooking methods.

Read our seasonal guide to key Scottish seafood

Scotland boasts a stellar reputation for its high quality seafood. As chefs, we all love working with great ingredients and produce. With Scottish seafood, we have more than the promise of premium seafood, we know they have also been produced with worldly responsibility.

Charles Carroll President of Worldchefs
Brilliant laughing old fishermen

Have we got you hooked?

With a wealth of products and suppliers to choose from, we should be your first port of call when it comes to sourcing premium Scottish seafood. From coast to coast, we have the knowledge and the contacts to help you buy and trade with confidence.

Want hand-dived scallops for a sashimi feast? We know a man. Want the freshest mussels and oysters for a seafood platter? We know who has the best. On the lookout for cracking lobster, crab and white fish? Just ask. Need advice on road, rail or air-freight transport, or help understanding customs and export legislation?

Our advisers can keep you on the right track. From ship to shore, and onwards to your consumers, we can help steer you through the shoals and inlets of the Scottish seafood world.

Contact us