Scottish Salmon Company sustainably restocks Benmore river

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The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) has helped launch a new restocking project on Mull as part of its ongoing commitment to working collaboratively with wild fisheries and sustainably supporting the natural environments in which it operates.

Some 300,000 ova have been supplied to the Benmore Estate at Gruline to assist in the restocking of salmon on its river.

The ova have been provided to the estate’s Glen Forsa hatchery as part of a long-term partnership with SSC. The hatchery marks a significant investment for Benmore Estate and will see salmon raised and returned to its fishing river.

The Mull partnership is the latest in a number of sustainable restocking projects supported by SSC to regenerate wild salmon numbers in Scottish rivers.

In the spring of 2018, over 4,000 smolt were released into a river system on North Uist as part of an ongoing project with the North Uist Estate. It was this river system that the company’s own native Hebridean broodstock originated – and it was fish from these bloodlines that restocked the estate.

One of the company’s most successful programmes is on the River Carron, where its relationship with the wild fishery began 10 years ago through the supply of feed and  equipment to support wild salmon stocks.

This was formalised in 2012 when the University of the Highlands and Islands set up a research project to investigate the impact of restocking on the river. The three-year River Carron Restoration Project was jointly funded by SSC, Scottish Sea Farms, Skretting, Ewos and Biomar.

SSC’s involvement continues. The company’s Langass hatchery has received 30,000 wild ova from the River Carron and has returned over 685,000 ova and 228,000 fry back to the river over the past eight years.

Craig Anderson, chief executive of SSC, said: ‘The unique natural environment on the west coast of Scotland and the Hebrides is the fabric weaved into the provenance of our Scottish salmon. Restocking projects, such as those on the Benmore Estate, play an important role in our ongoing commitment to support the marine environment in these beautiful areas.’

Bob Kindness,  manager of the River Carron Restoration Project, added: ‘The restocking project  has proven to be effective on the River Carron with elevated catches for the past 15 years, reflecting exactly the timeline of our restocking efforts.

‘Our longstanding relationship with The Scottish Salmon Company has delivered practical support and knowledge sharing between both parties and has a delivered a measurable impact on wild stocks.’