The road to extinction is paved with good intentions

17 April 2019
Patagonia has produced a documentary and launched a campaign to highlight the devastating effect of fish farms.

The Artifishal projection will be held in Milan on April 23 at the BASE.

Produced by the founder of Patagonia Yvon Chouinard, Artifishal is a film about wild fish, pristine rivers and devastation of habitats caused by fish farms. The European campaign, in support of the environment, documents the salmon farming industry in Iceland, Norway, Scotland and Ireland and asks the public to sign a petition addressed to governments of these countries to ban the practice of fish farming in network fences in the open sea.

The illuminating but controversial 80-minute documentary film by Liars & Thieves! explores the high ecological, financial and cultural cost of our mistaken belief that engineered solutions can compensate for habitat destruction. The film denounces the impact of fish farms and fish farms, an industry that hinders the recovery of wild fish, pollutes our rivers and contributes to the problem it claims to solve. Artifishal digs far beyond the surface of this controversy, which sees citizens fighting to stop the damage done to public waters and the latest species of salmon and wild sea trout.

The documentary takes the viewer into nurseries in the states of California, Washington, Oregon and Idaho and shows the conditions in which enormous quantities of genetically and qualitatively inferior salmon are produced. In a beautiful fjord near Alta, Norway, the destruction of the underwater environment and the diseases caused by a fish farm in the open sea are witnessed by the devastating stories of activists.

"Men have always considered themselves superior to nature and got us into trouble. We think we can control it, but in reality, we are unable to do so - observes Yvon Chouinard - Fish farms and net fences are only the symptoms and not the causes of the problem. If wild salmon is important to us, we need to do something right away. A life without wild nature and without these great iconic species is a miserable life. If we lose all the wild species, we also lose ourselves."

Most European salmon farms are located in Norway and Scotland, where they devastated coastal ecosystems. Fish farms in net fences contribute significantly to the dramatic extinction of wild Atlantic salmon. The industry is set to expand exponentially in the pristine fjords of Iceland and continues to grow at an alarming rate in Norway, Scotland and Ireland. These huge open net fences allow the free flow of disease and pollution into the surrounding environment, where wild salmon and sea trout struggle to survive. Over the past 40 years, the presence of Atlantic salmon in the seas has dropped from ten to three million and if we fail to protect their habitat they could soon become an endangered species. Patagonia will present the work of local NGOs fighting for this cause: North Atlantic Salmon Fund Iceland, Norwegian Wild Salmon Alliance, Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland and Salmon Watch Ireland. Together they launched a petition calling for a national ban on the opening of new open network enclosures for salmon farming and the progressive elimination of existing ones, to stop the devastation of wild fish and surrounding ecosystems.

The first Italian screening of Artifishal will be held in Milan, Tuesday, April 23 at BASE, at 8.30 pm The collection of tickets, sold at the symbolic cost of 5 euros on, will be entirely donated to charity.

Artifishal will also be screened in Patagonia stores, at film festivals, community events and in theaters. For dates, times and ticket details, check the schedule.

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