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
The wild salmonid lobby will not be bought