Opin­ion

Fish Farmer - - Contents - By Nick Joy

FOR those of you who don’t know the word, it means re­lax­ing of tense re­la­tions.A lit­tle bird, or sev­eral, have told me that there are moves within the in­dus­try to cre­ate a fund to dis­perse to the wild salmonid lobby by some route or other. It has fur­ther been sug­gested that this fund would be han­dled at a na­tional level and then dis­trib­uted to wor­thy projects and or­gan­i­sa­tions.

I can­not say that I have heard of a worse idea in a long time. Let’s leave aside that those who want to en­ter the Aqua­cul­ture Stew­ard­ship Coun­cil (ASC) might wish to get it changed and need the wild salmonid lobby on their side.

Let’s also ig­nore the fact that the wild salmonid lobby have been mak­ing their usual claims and pro­duc­ing fake news by the bucket load.

The rea­son that this is a bad idea is be­cause the ba­sic prin­ci­ple is funda

Dé­tente is achieved by dis­cus­sion and two par­ties trust­ing each other and de­vel­op­ing win:win po­si­tions. It has never suc­ceeded where one party ef­fec­tively pun­ishes the other party un­til it pays up.

So let’s look at the is­sues we face.The na­tional wild salmonid lobby is ef­fec­tively con­trolled by the big three rivers.Through what­ever na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion, they raise the is­sue of the west coast and salmon farm­ing ‘on be­half’ of the small pro­pri­etors or trusts on the west coast.

Dur­ing my ten­ure in such a trust, I can say that the num­ber of times their rep­re­sen­ta­tive has been to visit can be counted on one hand and the num­ber of times that one of the big hit­ters has come has been a big fat re­sound­ing zero.

I should pay trib­ute to the pro­pri­etors in the area of our trust.They are rea­son­able, thought­ful peo­ple and, here’s the sur­prise, the farm­ing busi­nesses them.

Each busi­ness, whether wild salmonid or farmed, knows and has to sign a doc­u­ment say­ing that they do not ex­pect their con­tri­bu­tion to af­fect what funds it and our bi­ol­o­gist is clear that she and she alone de­cides on the projects put for­ward for fund­ing.

This has re­sulted in a new track­ing project to look at where sea trout make it work, de­spite the fact that the out­come might be dele­te­ri­ous to them.

The is­sue is a lo­cal one and should be re­solved lo­cally. It is clear that some Eri­boll, where there is a farm site but the Polla has been on 50-year record catches for quite a while now.

The wild salmonid lobby will not be bought off. If they aren’t just us­ing the ar­gu­ment to beat govern­ment then they must gen­uinely be­lieve that the salmon farm­ing in­dus­try is caus­ing an is­sue.

Why would money stop them con­tin­u­ing to cam­paign? Fur­ther to this, the fund would ap­pear to be a tacit ac­cep­tance by the in­dus­try that salmon farm­ing has af­fected the mi­gra­tory re­turns. Does the in­dus­try in­tend this?

Then there comes the most ba­sic is­sue of all.This money will quickly be re­garded as ow­ing to the salmonid lobby and then sub­ject to de­mands for growth to match pu­ta­tive im­pact. It will have lay­ers of peo­ple de­cid­ing its ap­pro­pri­ate use and adding lay­ers of cost. It will not earn any re­spect or grat­i­tude and will not re­sult in a pos­i­tive di­a­logue.

For the sake of gen­er­a­tions of fu­ture aqua­cul­tur­ists and busi­ness peo­ple, please do not do this. Some­one said that the is­sue is about time poor and needed is time spent at a lo­cal level build­ing trust

There are hard lin­ers out there. Some do not be­lieve that there should be any truck with the salmon in­dus­try at all.They be­lieve that if the money is passed to a na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion, some­how the money will be laun­dered bright white and this leaves them with their hand un­blem­ished.

These are peo­ple who be­lieve that their hands are un­sul­lied while work­ing to con­serve a species solely for the pur­pose of catch­ing it on a hook and re­leas­ing it again. Mo­ral­ity is seen pe­cu­liarly by those who wear dis­torted lenses.

A good world is one where peo­ple who deeply dis­agree can dis­cuss and un­der­stand each other’s po­si­tion, while try­ing to progress.Those who refuse to see others as hav­ing any re­deem­ing qual­i­ties rarely make good peace mak­ers and rarely pro­duce use­ful so­lu­tions.

I be­lieve that most peo­ple are good and want good to hap­pen.We need to meet and talk just as we have in our trust for the last 21 years.We don’t agree on ev­ery­thing and in some cases pas­sion­ately dis­agree, but we al­ways re­spect each other and we al­ways leave want­ing to meet again. Don’t ruin this be­cause of ex­pe­di­ency or be­cause the needs of to­mor­row don’t weigh heav­ily enough on your

con­science.

The wild salmonid lobby will not be bought

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