Mr Iain Steele, left metal cage structures, wooden components of cage structures, rope, nets, polystyrene flotation blocks, compressed gas cylinders, pumps, waste feed and plastic bags at the site.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency received complaints about the waste which was left strewn throughout the loch and surrounding shore.

The fish farm owner was served with a notice to remove the waste within three months but did not comply with the order. Lochmaddy Sheriff Court fined Mr Steele £600 for non-compliance with the notice.

SEPA’s investigating officer, Hazel MacLeod, said: “Loch Moreef is a remote loch in the Isle of South Uist, it’s a very scenic area and the amenity of the loch has been significantly reduced by this abandoned fish farming equipment.

“These wastes are not biodegradable, so if they are not removed, they will remain in situ for many years to come, oxidising, rotting and decomposing slowly due to exposure to the elements and being spread by the wind.

“Mr Steele has benefited financially by leaving the waste in situ. He has not paid the clean-up and disposal costs of the waste which arose from his fish farming business, which is at the detriment to the environment, and should have been returned to its natural state once the fish farming operation was finished.”

Alison Brown

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