THE Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) committee has lived up to the wordiness of its name and produced a wordy report. I received it, as I believe others did, while embargoed, from the wild salmonid lobby I think this is the ninth of these kinds of reports I have seen in my career. moved forward at all under the yoke of the endless, repetitious and vacuous nature of reviews.
This one is particularly notable for the people it would not include, the limited industry representation, the lack of requirement for evidence of any substantial nature from critics, and an assumption before it started that the industry was at fault.
The fact that the RSPCA was not allowed to give evidence should shame the members of the committee. I assume it was because the RSPCA is assumed to be English, despite the fact that it has an international reputation. So, to the actual conclusions of the report, all 65 of them: No 1: Our industry impacts on other marine businesses. It does but how cites that the seaweed for her business might be contaminated with ‘toxins’ from salmon farms.
She does not elicit what ‘toxins’, where they might come from, how they attached to seaweed and so on. In other words, she just thinks it might be so and doesn’t like salmon farms. She also thinks that seaweed has turned pink from ‘dyes’ used in farmed salmon! But still some of her comments actually made it into the report.
- lous cost accounting were applied to the industry it would not come out well (shortened for your mental wellbeing).
That might be so but I doubt it. His preferred industry, angling, might come out considerably worse.The problem with this section and almost all of the rest of the report is that nothing, not a single word, is subject to any serious scrutiny. If no serious scrutiny has been applied to criticism then no serious action should be attempted from it.
I won’t give credence to the call for a moratorium and neither did the committee. Despite their virtue signalling at every possible point, even they have realised that there is no evidence to back this up.
But it is interesting that the MSPs think salmon farms should move offshore. They champion the cause of small marine businesses, while making absolutely sure that no small businesses ever enter this industry again.
They talk about moving or removing sites from salmon migratory routes, while making clear there is not enough evidence to act upon the criticism that wild salmonids are affected.
and might be anywhere on the west coast - even offshore, where they suggest siting farms.
This is the ‘precautionary principle’, that wonderful phrase that drives my blood pressure to boiling point.
lice become an extreme rarity (as they have on one farm) and yet 10 years pass without an improvement in returns to the river, how the committee’s words will echo in the empty houses and sheds that once held people producing top quality healthy food.
No 8:The committee calls for accreditation clarity, but Freedom Food, the second most recognised accreditation in the UK and its progenitor, the RSPCA, were refused permission to give evidence to the committee. It seems the REC had drawn its conclusions before it sat down.
The committee thinks that government regulators can arrive on site, drive away algal blooms, strike amoeba dead at a single blow and leave again, to the resounding cheers of all of the local people and Of course, reality is a long way away from this. Fish farmers don’t want mortalities, and nor do pig farmers, chicken farmers, sheep farmers, or any comes along and large numbers of sheep die on the hills, do we see politicians suggesting that because they would be laughed at.
we have known for a long time: there is no affecting the decline of wild salmon stocks. (I think they meant to include sea trout but they forgot.)
Having said this, the committee then says it is all salmon farms’ fault and recommends we close a whole load down.
No 42 is hilarious because, having said that there should be an agency to deal with the unproven link between salmon farming and the wild salmon decline. I think we should also have an agency to look into my idea that the moon is made of green cheese.
No 43 at least acknowledges that both industries (‘sectors’) should exist.The committee uses the word ‘sector’ because it knows the word ‘conservation’ cannot be uttered in the same breath as angling, as that could hardly support their arguments of protecting the environment.
If the true terms were used, then this report would not accommodate criticism from an industry which uses a wild species for sport, and kills and has killed enormous numbers of a declining species, against one which is working out how to grow it.
There are many more old and tired words about where sites should be, irrespective of site performance, history, facts or cost. So let me tell you what will not work. Creating more agencies, more research, more reviews, more regulations, more government employees and once in a while going out to visit those weird people who live and work outside, will not make one jot of difference. More to the point, this report comes at the wrong time, not for the industry, not for the critics, but for the authors. They call for things they cannot have.The government does not have spare funds, and council budgets continue to be slashed. Finally, let’s have no more reports that repeat what has been said before. If it didn’t change things last time, then try another route.