Fish Farmer - - Contents-Editor’s Welcome - By Nick Joy

Last month I was at the Fringe in Ed­in­burgh. It was fun and a chal­lenge to see as many shows as pos­si­ble. Now I know you will stretch to see the rel­e­vance but I hope you will bear with me. My wife booked us in to Antigone, which is a 2,500-year-old tragedy writ­ten by Sopho­cles. I am afraid that I may have been less than a du­ti­ful hus­band in the crit­i­cism of this plan but luck­ily not so crit­i­cal as to miss it.

The play had amaz­ing stars, was bril­liantly staged and the story is clas­sic but ex­tremely rel­e­vant to our times. Oedi­pus has two sons, one of whom leaves Thebes. Polyneikes re­turns in­tend­ing to raze Thebes to the ground and take the crown from his brother Etiok­les. In the en­su­ing bat­tle both are killed and their un­cle Kreon is forced to take on the crown. He for­bids the burial of Polyneikes and on this mat­ter the whole plot rests.

Antigone wants to bury her brother as she be­lieves that, once dead, his­to­ries should be for­got­ten. Kreon is des­per­ate to re­store har­mony and peace to Thebes and does not want to up­set Etiok­les’s sup­port­ers. Both of their ar­gu­ments have merit and both are un­able to change their view or to lis­ten to each other. The re­sults are cat­a­strophic for their lives and the lives of those around them.

Antigone is en­gaged to Kreon’s son Hai­mon.Antigone is en­tombed in a cave and re­al­is­ing that her un­will­ing­ness to change has put her in a po­si­tion from which she can­not change, she hangs mis­take, ar­rives. Hai­mon tries to kill Kreon and on fail­ing kills him­self.

The most ter­ri­ble scene is as the now dead Antigone re­cites what hap­pened in the cave, Kreon’s wife is killing her­self be­hind from the loss of her son. Kreon loses ev­ery­thing and so does Antigone. No won­der this play res­onates and has res­onated for so long.

But why is this rel­e­vant to our in­dus­try now? Well, not lis­ten­ing and hold­ing to a prin­ci­ple is a reg­u­lar fea­ture in the dis­course be­tween salmon farm­ing and the wild salmonid lobby. I am not go­ing to use this col­umn to air my views, as I sus­pect that they are al­ready well known. How­ever, the wild salmonid peo­ple are fac­ing that most won­der­ful of gov­ern­ment de­vices, a re­view.The Wild Fish­eries Re­view is close to the end of sub­mis­sions and it will un­doubt­edly be the big­gest shake up of this in­dus­try for some con­sid­er­able time.The aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try knows this de­vice only too well.

So here’s the thing I don’t un­der­stand. Both in­dus­tries are ru­ral, both are un­der­stood lit­tle by the gov­ern­ment. Grenade lob­bing has been fre­quent both at each other and at the gov­ern­ment. Guys, what do you think is go­ing to hap­pen? Did you re­ally think the gov­ern­ment would keep on putting pres­sure on aqua­cul­ture and not look at both in­dus­tries? The more trou­ble and noise gov­ern­ments face, the more they want to act.And here’s the rub; the more they want to act, the worse it will be for your in­dus­try.

Ru­ral in­dus­tries are hard to man­age, hard to make means more con­trol, more in­spec­tors and more is right in this ar­gu­ment but surely we can do bet­ter than metaphor­i­cally hang our­selves on this.

As we were trav­el­ling back from Ed­in­burgh and mar­vel­ling at the skills on dis­play in the play, I re­alised why it has lasted so long. It teaches that two ar­gu­ments can be right but still have ap­palling con­se­quences if you hold to them, ir­re­spec­tive of any­thing else. If Kreon had al­lowed Antigone to bury her brother out­side the city bounds, all of it would have gone away. in­stead of ig­nor­ing any en­treaty then she would have lived and so would all the oth­ers.

If we are go­ing to go on co-ex­ist­ing in the same en­vi­ron­ment, one in­dus­try farm­ing, the other de­pen­dent on wild cap­ture, we are go­ing the gov­ern­ment or each other as this can only end in tragedy.

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