“How far do we go to manufacture wildness?”
That’s the question posed by Artifishal, a new film from Patagonia that investigates the impact of factory fish farming on wild salmon populations.
The 80-minute documentary, produced by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and directed by Josh “Bones” Murphy, aims to draw global attention to the threat of open net pen farming on wild salmon around the globe. “We’re reversing natural selection. We’re devolving these fish,” says one of the fishermen in the film.
The documentary traces the impact the global open net fishing industry has on the environment, arguing that it is not only producing an inferior product unfit for consumption but helping to drive wild salmon extinct. The film features stories from around the world, from California to Norway.
“Humans have always thought of themselves as superior to nature, and it’s gotten us into a lot of trouble. We think we can control nature; we can’t,” says Chouinard, in a company news release about the film. “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.”
The outdoor clothing company has also partnered with Icelandic NGO the North Atlantic Salmon Fund to support Against the Current, a campaign to stop open net farming and educate the public about the benefits of fish farming on land or in closed net pens.
Artifishal made its global premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last month and is the third film in a trilogy about rivers from Patagonia, following Dam Nation and Blue Heart.