Fish Farming Expertise Helps Sea Trout Restocking –

Fish Farming Expertise Helps Sea Trout Restocking Fish Farming Today Published:  30 July, 2003

FISH farming expertise is helping replenish sea trout stocks in Highland rivers and lochs. So far this year over 200,000 sea trout fry have been reared in Marine Harvest facilities and released to the wild in Lochaber.

The sea trout re-stocking programme is one of a number of ways that Marine Harvest, the UK’s leading fish farming company, is working in partnership with wild fishing interests. Marine Harvest’s Production Services Manager Steve Bracken said: “There has been a long-term decline in sea trout over many years. We have the facilities, the equipment and the expertise, so we’re delighted to be able to help.”

Marine Harvest have been rearing wild sea trout fry at their hatchery at Morar, near Mallaig since 1998 and have produced over 1,000,000 fish to be released back into the wild.

So far this year, 20,000 fry have been released to the River Moidart, 40,000 to Loch Morar and 150,000 to Loch Eilt. Marine Harvest is also holding mature fish from Loch Shiel to grow fry at other small hatcheries Marine Harvest has helped set up in the Loch Shiel area.

Steve added that more years would be needed to gauge the re-stocking programme’s impact, but there were already signs that it was helping to boost wild sea trout numbers.

Marine Harvest, the biggest private sector employer in Lochaber, is also working closely with and providing technical support for several estates and fishery boards on hatchery initiatives.