Aquaculture for all

Loch Duart Salmon supports West Sutherland Fisheries Trust

Fisheries Atlantic Salmon Disease +6 more

Aquaculture company Loch Duart Salmon has announced the renewal of its support for the West Sutherland Fisheries Trust and its commitment to transparent fish health data reporting.

A fisheries biologist conducting a survey.
The West Sutherland Fisheries Trust conducts regular monitoring at Loch Duart sites

Loch Duart Salmon has announced it will continue working with the West Sutherland Fisheries Trust (WSFT) as an independent monitor and auditor of its fish health data for another three years. Loch Duart’s working relationship with WSFT goes back to 1999, the year the salmon farm was founded.

An independent charity established in 1996 and based in North West Scotland, the West Sutherland Fisheries Trust (WSFT) monitors wild fish populations and advises on the management of rivers and lochs in the area. Beginning in 2021, the partnership between Loch Duart Salmon and the WSFT grants WSFT access to Loch Duart’s sites, ensuring continued transparency in fish health data reporting.

WSFT biologists visit four different Loch Duart farm sites each month to independently carry out weekly fish health checks, including sea lice counts and environmental and biological monitoring. Through these audits, Loch Duart is provided with transparent fish health data reporting while also encouraging positive dialogue between the salmon farm and the fisheries trust.

“There’s absolutely no point in hiding health problems - why wouldn’t we want to be transparent? We’ve been health checking all the pens with the West Sutherland Fisheries Trust, doing lice counts, gill scores, and taking gill swabs. WSFT audits the health checks, making sure that what we report is what’s actually here,” said Loch Duart fish health manager Beth Osborne, in a press release.

“It’s important that Loch Duart works with the Trust because it gives us transparency of our data as a whole, both from the wild stocks as well as the fish farm. It helps the local environment, the local people and all of the local stakeholders. If everything’s healthy in the area and we’ve shared as much information as possible, then everybody benefits,” she added.

Dr Shona Marshall, senior fisheries biologist for WSFT, said: “Our auditing of sea lice counts has been ongoing for three years and has proved to be a success. We are pleased to extend this partnership with Loch Duart Salmon. Working closely with Loch Duart has given us a good understanding of the farm practices, their issues, and solutions.”

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