Aquaculture for all

Sea Trout Returns to the Shetlands

SCOTLAND, UK - There are encouraging reports of increased numbers of sea trout returning to their old haunts around Orkney and Shetland and, in the Western Isles, salmon as well.

For many years, from the late 1980s onwards, these species were most notable by their absence from these areas caused, many anglers allege, by the impact of parasitic sea lice from fish farm cages, reports The Press and Journal.

According to the news agency, as the industry began to face hard times in the early years of the new century, aquaculture activity lessened. For instance, in Orkney, fish farm production fell by about 50% and more than a dozen Shetland fish farms businesses ceased trading. In the Western Isles, rationalisation and advanced aquaculture techniques led to a similar slow-down. In consequence, overall production of Scottish farmed salmon fell and has yet to recover.

Bad news for fish farmers, but good news for Scotland’s beleaguered sea-trout stocks and for the rod and line anglers who fish for them. In Shetland, for about two decades, the Fisheries Research Services annual statistical bulletin often recorded less than 10, and, more often than not, no Shetland sea-trout caught. However, in 2007, upwards of 400 were taken. Orkney also reports great sport with sea-trout, in Scapa Flow and along the coast of Hoy.

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