"The thing that has struck us at the screenings we have attended is that the audience is far from being just anglers – it has been great seeing so many younger folk there and hearing their reaction to the issues"
Paul Knight, CEO Salmon & Trout Conservation
In 2019 one of Patagonia's core global campaigns has been highlighting the need for the protection of wild salmon populations around the world from the damaging impacts of commercial hatcheries and open cage salmon farming.
The campaign has centred around a feature length film "Artifishal" which has been supported by a large public relations effort.
Patagonia Inc said:
"Artifishal is a film about people, rivers, and the fight for the future of wild fish and the environment that supports them. It explores wild salmon’s slide toward extinction, threats posed by fish hatcheries and fish farms, and our continued loss of faith in nature."
The film has been toured around major European capitals and is now being shown by local activist groups in smaller towns and villages.
Accompanying the film has been a petition which is to be delivered to the governments of Scotland, Norway, Ireland and Iceland later in the year.
Salmon & Trout Conservation has supported the campaign throughout and participated as the lead NGO in the UK. Each film screening is book-ended with a hosted panel discussion of experts and a Q&A with the audience. S&TC staffers, Paul, Nick, Andrew and Corin have attended dozens of events between them throughout the UK and Europe. Largely speaking to issues around the impacts of open cage salmon farming in Scotland, but often ranging into areas of consumer activism, protecting wild waters and the process of forcing change from reluctant governments.
The audience members at screenings reflect Patagonia's demographic and have been overwhelmingly younger, environmentally active, consumer conscious and non fishing. The discussions, engagement and vocal consensus about the concerns being raised demonstrate that S&TC's campaigns do have very broad appeal and resonate strongly with consumers. This tells us a lot about how to build public support for the issues we are concerned with. Patagonia's global reach (over 1.5m followers on facebook and instagram) combined with their deeply held convictions on protecting wild places, activism and making change, has taken S&TC's message to people and places we would have struggled to reach ourselves, and at a scale that is internationally significant.
S&TC's credibility on the issues combined with Patagonia's credibility with consumers is proving to be a potent symbiotic relationship.
Corin Smith, Communications Consultant for S&TC said:
"Working with Patagonia Inc has been a significant coup for S&TC. Our highly visible collaboration to end open cage salmon farming has both government and industry deeply concerned. Touring with "Artifishal" has taught us a huge amount. Not least it has clearly demonstrated that our wider environmental attitude to campaigning, highlighted through consumer issues, has the potential for broad public appeal and engagement over the longterm."
Artifishal (Europe) By Numbers (up to June 2019)
Nearly 140,000 signatures! https://you.wemove.eu/campaigns/stop-europe-s-dirty-fish-farms
12 million -- Total reach for all film and campaign related content on social media through Patagonia sponsored ads
192 -- Number of PR pieces so far
> 197.5 million -- Total PR readership for these pieces
Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland have secured a date to deliver the "Stop Europe's dirty fish farms" petition to the Scottish Government with Patagonia Inc
Patagonia's short film about salmon farming in Iceland went online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vgmpdwOgvs
'We're the bad guy': inside the shocking new film about wild fish (The Guardian – review of the film at the Tribeca film festival).
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard: ‘Denying climate change is evil’ (The Guardian – interview also features the film Artifishal)
Outdoor gear, food retailer Patagonia harshly criticizes aquaculture, hatcheries in "Artifishal" (SeafoodSource – great interview with Artifishal producer Dylan Tomine)
Salmon Farming Exposed – BBC Panorama program on salmon farming in Scotland and subsequent articles like this one. Some of the best recent coverage of the issue and features Corin Smith from Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland.
We still have a few more months of "Artifishal" to go with a number of screenings in Scotland and the UK between now and September.
For dates near you check out: https://eu.patagonia.com/eu/artifishal-screenings.html
Thanks to Becky, Lisa Rose, Lisa D, Mihela and the rest of the team at Patagonia Inc. And of course Yvon, his vision, passion and conviction are game changing.