Patagonia has announced the release of two films; Artifishal and Saving Martha urging for the protection of wild fish. The 80 minute feature film Artifishal explores the high cost—ecological, financial and cultural—of our mistaken belief that engineered solutions can make up for habitat destruction. They trace the impact of fish hatcheries and farms on wild fish populations, and the extraordinary amount of tax dollars wasted on an industry that hinders wild fish recovery, pollutes our rivers and waterways and contributes to the problem it claims to solve.
Saving Martha is a short film about fish farms in Australia. Tasmania is regarded as one of our most pristine and wild states, however, in recent years that reputation has been tarnished by the boom of the local salmon farming industry. With environmental regulations struggling to keep pace with the industry’s growth, the marine environments that host the industry have been significantly impacted and, in some cases, have approached collapse. Increased scrutiny and criticism of the industry has forced operators to find new locations, including neighbouring King Island – adjacent to the world-class waves at Martha Lavinia Beach. Saving Martha highlights the plight of the King Island community, while emphasising the negative impact the proposed farms will have on the ecology of the region.
On the other side of the globe, the same battle rages. Patagonia Founder and Executive Producer, Yvon Chouinard, and Director/Producer Josh “Bones” Murphy made Artifishal – the story of fish hatcheries and fish farms from California to Norway. After witnessing the conditions of factory fish farms as well as the genetically inferior, dumbed-down salmon they churn out. The film explores the repercussions of a wrecked net pen and the underwater destruction and disease caused by an open-water fish farm.
“Humans have always thought of themselves as superior to nature and it’s got us into a lot of trouble. We think we can control nature; we can’t,” notes Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia founder. “If we value wild salmon, we need to do something now. A life without wild nature and a life without these great, iconic species is an impoverished life. If we lose all wild species, we’re going to lose ourselves.”
Patagonia is an outdoor apparel company based in Ventura, California. A Certified B Corporation, the company is recognized internationally for its commitment to product quality and environmental activism. Founded over 40 years ago by a dirtbag climber who wanted to explore wild places. The company is still in business today because it fights to protect lands and waters all around the world. The company is suing the Trump administration in an effort to protect public lands and has donated over $100 million to environmental nonprofits working on the most pressing challenges facing our planet. Artifishal is the third film in a trilogy about rivers by Patagonia, following DamNation and Blue Heart.
You can watch Saving Martha here.
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All images supplied. Feature image of Swedish journalist, angler and author Mikael Frodin releases a wild Atlantic salmon on Norway’s Alta River. Photo: Ben Moon.