Loch Roag

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Loch Roag or Loch Ròg is a large sea loch on the west coast of Lewis in Ross-shire. It is broadly divided into East Loch Roag and West Loch Roag with other notable branches being Little Loch Roag, Loch Barragloum, Langavat and Loch Kintulavik. The Loch is dominated by the only inhabited island Great Bernera and East Loch Roag is actually referred to as Loch Bernera on early maps, most notably Murdoch MacKenzie's original Admiralty Chart from 1776. The use of West and East to differentiate the sections of the Loch appear from the original Ordnance Survey in 1850.

The rocky ground of East Loch Roag is generally 50m deep in the centre while the channel between Fuaigh Mòr and Bhacasaigh in West Loch Roag descends to over 300 ft. Both these lochs have had an abundant shellfish industry for centuries. The main centre for this industry being Kirkibost on Great Bernera which has processed and exported lobster, brown crab and velvet crab for many years. In the 1990s the summer season Kirkibost brown crab industry was worth over £1,000,000 ahead of a rapid decline in the 2000s. Other major historical fishing centres around the bays of Loch Roag are Carloway, Breascleit, Valtos and Bernera Harbour.

The waters of Loch Roag are pristine and clear, and are today the source of farmed organic salmon and organic mussels, both of which are major industries in the area. The Loch is a major supplier to most British supermarkets and also exports to southern European markets. Local wildlife includes abundant seals, as well as sea eagles, herons, otters, &c.

Amongst the many islands in it are:

Outside links

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