Okay, other than Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt convincing us that salmon fishing (in the Yemen) is interesting, who wants to watch an entire film about fish? Not many, would have been my guess before watching the documentary Artifishal directed by Josh “Bones” Murphy. This film is about salmon (what is it about that fish that we find so interesting?) and how there is a fear that they will become extinct, so some have undertaken the fight to save salmon and the rivers they live in.

The tagline here is “the road to extinction is paved with good intentions.” I find that rather scary as it indicates that despite good will species are still disappearing. Humans are not willing to make the “sacrifices” (I put quotes there as I do not believe what is required are actually sacrifices) needed to make this planet habitable for all who are here – no matter the species.

Fish hatcheries and fish farms have been developed in order to ensure the survival of salmon. Like the dairy industry they have used their money and power to ensure their survival even though it has been proven that they do more damage than good. Humans have huge egos. We believe that what we can develop, build or make is better than what nature has done. Most of the time this is wrong, but we stubbornly forge on because money is involved. This is why (or one of the reasons) our planet is in such a perilous state.

Fish farms are demonstrated to be destructive to both fish and the environment. The destruction happens under water so is somewhat hidden. Open-water fish farms are breeding grounds for disease.

Tied into the fact that fish hatcheries and fish farms are damaging is that they also cost a lot of money. In the U.S. alone, hundreds of millions of tax money is used to prop up this industry. A colossal waste of money.

In the end there is still hope. And this film leaves us with that. Points out that the environment is really resilient. If we shut down the fish farms it has been proven in places like Montana and Washington that the fish population will rebound.

Fish are not warm and cuddly nor are they cute like cats and dogs. As such the fight to save wild fish is a lot more problematic. Plus we really like our sushi, so they will continue to be engineered and overfished despite the protests unless someone really takes a stand.

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