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OHTF liaise closely with the Aquaculture industry and its some 70 sites throughout the Western Isles, aiming to ensure healthy and thriving wild fish populations along side a sustainable industry.

The potential negatives effects arising from fish farms are mainly attributed to sea lice and escaped farm fish. It is a key function of the Trust, with our interactions taking on many forms including; sea lice monitoring (post smolt sweep netting), assisting the WIDSFB with planning responses as a statutory consultee, representing wild fisheries on Area Management Agreements (AMA's) and working partnerships. There are currently two Area Management Agreemements - Loch Erisort and Loch Roag, established in October and November 2014 respectively.

Area Management Agreements

Within each AMA there is a group of designated individuals representing aquaculture and wild fishery interests. This is known as the Area Management Group (AMG). The AMG for each area meets biannually.

The purpose of the Area Management Agreements is to promote local industry and wild fisheries interests throughout the west coast and Western Isles and cover a range of objectives, including:

  • single year class management and synchronised production/fallowing cycles

  • Synchronised lice treatments

  • zero ovigerous salmon lice, particularly during the critical  wild smolt migration  period (Feb – June)

  • vaccination of smolts against furunculosis

  • preparation of containment and contingency plans to minimise escapes

  • adherence to industry Codes of Practice

  • regular monitoring and information exchange between AMA partners

  • preparation of catchment management plans

  • adherence to disease control mechanisms in wild fisheries

  • possibility of augmenting with biological control using wrasse cleaner fish

OHFT are actively seeking better regulation of the Aquaculture industry by lobbying alongside other Boards and Trusts from the Aquaculture zone and Fisheries Management Scotland. We are awaiting the outcome of the recent Rural Economy and Connectivity AMA's report.

Loch Roag Area

The Loch Roag AMA is split into three individual management areas:

East Loch Roag- This management area starts at Aird Laimisiadair (NB 172430) goes round the coast past Breascleit to Ceabhagh (NB 197354) and then along the coastline of Bearnaraigh to Siaram Bostadh (NB 132407).

West Loch Roag- This management area starts at Siaram Bostadh (NB 132407) goes round the coastline of Bearnaraigh to Iasiadar (NB 165342) and then along to An Gallan UIgeach (NB 053394).

South East Loch Roag (Firebreak – not to be stocked)-This management area starts at Ceabhagh (NB 197354), goes round the coastline past Griomarstadh (NB 218314) to Iasiadar (NB 165342).

Loch Erisort Area

The Loch Erisort AMA coverage includes all Crown Estate leases for finfish farming and freshwater catchments between Rubha Rearinis in the northeast and Tanga Deas in the southeast, and is inclusive of the entire Loch Erisort water body.

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