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Hebridean Smokehouse Fish have a truly wild past !
The fish we use for smoking are descended from local wild stocks. they are farmed off the rocky east coast of the island, at low density, on a special low-oil diet. We are unique in farming Scottish native strains - other Scottish-farmed salmon is of Norwegian genetic origin. The benefits of farming these true natives is their high natural resistance to diseases and parasites, a result of evolution over millenia, and this happy circumstance means we do not give any of our stocks chemical treatment at sea - perhaps unique in Scottish fish farming.
There has been much recent anxiety about the effects of non-native salmon escaping from farms and diluting the local genetic stock wherever fish are farmed in the sea. This genetic pollution may have serious consequences, but here on North Uist, should an escape ever occur, this would be avoided as both the wild and farmed stocks are one and the same.
Collecting the original parents of our salmon stocks involved trapping the fish when they entered their freshwater spawning burns in November and then transferring these fish to our hatchery. The sea trout stocks were much less accessable than the salmon and they were net caught in the sea pools that form as the tide recedes from the kyles and tidal flats on the western side of North Uist.
This whole process means we have, again uniquely, control of our salmon and sea trout from egg to final final finished product - in total a three year undertaking, and a huge amount of time, care and attention to detail is taken throughout this process. Farming these native fish at low density and in relatively small quantities is (unfortunately) an expensive undertaking, but the benefits in terms of quality are clear and apparent when you taste these exceptional fish. Our salmon and sea trout far exceed the quality of other stocks we have used and we are very fortunate indeed to be able to use such exceptional raw material, so fully deserving of the care and attention we give it when making our highly regarded products.
Collecting wild Uist salmon
Uist salmon in the sea
The men who grow the fish