Fishing and Aquaculture

Posted on:

Fishing & AquacultureFishing has always been an important part of traditional Harris life, supplementing the crofting lifestyle. However the nature of fishing has changed dramatically in recent decades. Herring fishing was at its height at the beginning of the 20th century but shellfish are now the main quarry of the few remaining fishermen. Most shellfish caught today are exported to southern Europe where they fetches high prices. Although many fish stocks have been depleted by commercial fishing, mackerel, saithe and lythe are still plentiful and supplement the summer diet of many households.

Aquaculture has grown into a larger industry than fishing, providing an important source of employment in the area. There are salmon fish farms in Loch Seaforth, West Loch Tarbert, and East Loch Tarbert.  Lease arrangements for shore bases in Loch Seaforth and at Aird Aiseag provide the Trust with an important source of income.

Salmon & Sea Trout Fishing

North Harris is well known for its salmon and sea trout fishing. The fishing rights for salmon and sea trout in the western half of the estate are owned by Amhuinnsuidhe Castle. In the eastern half of North Harris the Aline estate have the fishing rights to the Sgaladail system and the fishing at Lacasdail Lochs is privately managed.  The many fresh water lochs and lochans scattered throughout the estate also hold good populations of brown trout.

For more information about fishing on the Western Isles visit: