Loch Duart extends fisheries trust auditing agreement

Editorial Staff

The farmer said its working relationship with WSFT stretches back to 1999, the year Loch Duart was founded.

Scottish salmon producer Loch Duart has renewed its agreement with the West Sutherland Fisheries Trust (WSFT) for an additional three years, continuing their collaboration for independent monitoring and auditing of fish health data.

This partnership, which began in 2021, allows WSFT biologists to visit Loch Duart’s sites monthly to audit fish health checks, including sea lice counts and environmental conditions. Since the start of the program, WSFT has conducted 166 audits.

“There’s absolutely no point in hiding health problems… why wouldn’t we want to be transparent,” Loch Duart fish health manager Beth Osborne said in a press release.

“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. This is a unique partnership and one that both Loch Duart and the West Sutherland Fisheries Trust are proud of. We encourage others in the sector to look at what we’ve been doing and consider similar partnerships.

“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.”

Loch Duart, farming in Sutherland and the Hebrides, emphasized that the partnership ensures transparency in reporting fish health data, benefiting the local environment and stakeholders. WSFT, established in 1996, also monitors wild fish populations and advises on river and loch management in Northwest Scotland.

The renewed agreement underscores both organizations’ commitment to transparency and environmental stewardship.


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