North America has become the biggest international consumer of Scottish salmon for the first time and has helped to boost exports to a record level for the second consecutive year, new figures have shown.
Some 44,454 tonnes of salmon crossed the Atlantic last year, a 35% rise on the previous year.
It has overtaken Europe for the first time after exports stagnated in 2011 amid continuing economic uncertainty, although at 39,979 tonnes economists said the market remained strong.
Meanwhile, demand for Scottish salmon in the "high end sushi and sashimi markets" has seen exports to the Far-East increase almost tenfold, from 682 tonnes to 6,779 tonnes. The Middle East has risen from 1,340 tonnes to 1,562 tonnes, a jump of 17%.
Overall salmon exports increased by 22%, rising to 95,638 tonnes in 2011 from 78,611 tonnes the previous year.
Seven of the top 10 markets have grown in volume and fresh Scottish salmon now reaches 64 countries worldwide.
The new figures have been revealed ahead of the European Seafood Exposition (ESE), the world's largest seafood show held in Brussels this week. It is forecast to attract over 24,000 visitors from 80 countries.
Scott Landsburgh, Chief Executive, Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO), said: "Exports of fresh Scottish salmon have increased five out of the last six years and have almost doubled over the last decade. With both Scottish salmon exports and global demand for Atlantic salmon at an all-time high, the sector is a major player in the export-led recovery.
"We have worked with the Scottish Government to ensure the sustainable development of production over recent years and the early results are demonstrated in these encouraging figures. We must continue to work collaboratively to ensure continued confidence and avoid any unintended consequences in the proposed Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill as this would jeopardise further investment and job creation," he added.
Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "The huge popularity surge from emerging markets in the Far East demonstrates the untapped opportunities for continued growth in Scottish salmon exports."