Scottish produce from the Isle of Islay, Argyll and Stirling Area ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or

Industries reliant on nature

​Scotland’s tourism, food and drink and marine aquaculture industries are among those that rely heavily on a healthy natural environment.

​The natural environment plays a major part in economic growth and quality of life in Scotland. Various indexes and surveys sum up the value – both economic and social – of this important asset.

It’s vital to look after the natural environment as an investment for the future if we’re to continue to reap these economic and social rewards.

Sustainable tourism is one of seven growth industries in Scotland – it brings in more than £4 billion each year. Tourists consistently say that our landscapes, wildlife and outdoor activities are the top reasons they visit the country.

The food and drink sector is worth more than £14 billion annually to our economy, and the Scottish ‘brand’ is based on high environmental quality and high standards of environmental stewardship. Nature provides the raw ingredients for many food and drink businesses, and natural processes support the production of quality food. Our natural larder is bursting with delights, from fish and seafood to game and venison.

Scotland's fisheries both marine and freshwater are world renowned and make a substantial contribution to local economies. We support sustainable fisheries.

To support the sustainable growth of fish farming in Scotland, we work with planning authorities, developers, partners and the aquaculture industry as a whole.

We sit on the Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group, which aims to help guide the sustainable growth of the industry over the long term to 2030.