so much to sea

Shetland Mussel Industry Worth £7.4 million

Marine Scotland Science has today published findings from the Scottish Shellfish Farm Production Survey 2016. Overall, Scottish mussel production is now at its highest ever, with a six per cent increase from 2015 to 2016 – from 7,270 tonnes to 7,732 tonnes, with an estimated value of £11.7 million.

Shetland remains the most significant mussel producing area, representing 74 per cent of the overall total, at a value of around £7.4 million.

Commenting on the findings, chief executive of Seafood Shetland, Ruth Henderson, said: “These figures demonstrate that Shetland remains the prime location for mussel production. Not only do we have the right environment and growing conditions, we have an experienced and knowledgeable workforce to sustain and grow the industry.

“Steady growth over nearly 40 years means that mussel farming is a significant contributor to the economy, supporting fragile rural communities across the islands.

“Full MSC accreditation underpins Shetland’s shellfish growers’ commitment to sustainability and gives customers confidence in the product.

“Looking to the future, there is a move towards consolidating operations and sharing distribution which reduces costs and risk for individual operators.

“The industry is also working closely with NAFC Marine Centre UHI to establish a commercial hatchery to avoid its reliance on the natural availability of mussel spat and ensure a stable supply and, in turn, a stable industry.”

Further information:

For further information, please contact: Ruth Henderson, Seafood Shetland, tel: +44 (0)1595 693644 or email:

Or, Isabel Johnson, Shaw Marketing and Design Ltd, tel: +44 (01595) 692465 or email: