Fish Farmer - - Contents - By Nick Joy

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.

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