Book review – Loch Maree’s Missing Sea Trout

What’s the story?

Jaffa has long maintained that salmon farms are not to blame for the decline of wild salmon and sea trout stocks in rivers on Scotland’s west coast, and this book sets out to prove his point. By focusing on Loch Maree at the time of a so called collapse in the 1980s, looking at contemporary accounts and historic catch data, he investigates the links between aquaculture and angling.

Highs and lows

Jaffa says on the opening page of his book that the salmon industry has been ‘the centre of my world for nearly 40 years’. It is no surprise then that this account is a passionate defence of the sector at a time when it is under attack from various quarters. He has been meticulous in tracking down evidence to support his claims and the detail is impressive, if occasionally too detailed. But bear with him and you will be struck by how often fiction has been presented as fact in the salmon debate.


This will no doubt divide opinion, and that’s even before it is read. But it should be devoured by everyone interested in the future of Scottish salmon, both wild and farmed.


A tightly argued polemic that seeks to shift scientific research towards other likely causes of declining wild fish numbers – and thus let aquaculture off the hook.

Loch Maree’s Missing Sea Trout, by Martin Jaffa, published by Callander McDowell, £12.

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