Scottish salmon farmer Loch Duart has lost a quarter of its breeding stock following a theft that could have serious ramifications for the company's ability to maintain supply in future.

The company, which supplies a range of high-end retailers and restaurants, reported that £70,000 worth of unique broodstock had been stolen earlier this month as it was preparing them for transfer. Some of the remaining stock was also damaged, and police are currently investigating.

Each of the 150 stolen fish was four years old and would have produced 10,000 eggs, said MD Nick Joy. Although supply would not be affected in the short term, the company's output would be severely hit in four years time when the eggs would have been mature, he added.

"The whole premise of Loch Duart using Scottish stocks is jeopardised by this callous and despicable act," he claimed.