Over the years, outdoor label Patagonia has been taking on an active role with initiatives that help tackle environmental issues. With instances like donating $10 million USD in tax breaks to environmental groups or opening its Action Works Café in London, the company has stacked up over $100 million USD in grants for eco-friendly causes, so far. Patagonia’s latest endeavor addresses the threats that fish hatcheries have on salmon ecology, examining the ecological, financial and cultural implications of them — Artifishal.
The film was produced by the founder of Patagonia himself, Yvon Chouinard, and was directed by Josh “Bones” Murphy. It’s around 80 minutes long and entirely free to watch on YouTube. The documentary shines a light on the scale at which American tax dollars are going into hatcheries that hinder the recovery of wild salmon life while polluting rivers. All the way from California to Norway, the film looks into the poor conditions of farms that breed only genetically deficient fish and the underwater wreckage due to open-water farming.
Though Artifishal reveals many bleak facts about the changing ecosystem, the film also reminds us about nature’s resilience, highlighting some events where salmon life sprung out after hatcheries were taken down. Yvon Chouinard mentioned in a statement, “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. 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.”
Scroll up to watch the full-length documentary Artifishal.