Patagonia Release “Laxaþjóð” Film to Highlight Risks to Icelandic Salmon Population

, February 19, 2024

As a follow-up to ARTIFISHAL (2019), outdoors brand Patagonia has released the 27-minute Laxaþjóð to highlight the troubling state of wild salmon in Icelandic waters.

The growth and maturity of farmed salmon in Norway has spoiled salmon stocks in the North Atlantic, with Icelandic salmon the latest frontier. The otherwise pristine coastline of Iceland has only recently introduced foreign-owned farmed fisheries – operations which have been met with local opposition.

The accidental escapes of farmed salmon and their intensive concentration of excrement has created both an acute, local environmental concerns as well as a genealogical interference with the wild species.

The film interviews scientists, fishermen and local activists who remember a time before the contact with farmed salmon. Whereas industrialists have argue that jobs are created with the introduction of fisheries, the film points out that these come at the cost of the vibrant fishing tourism market. Iceland receives thousands of fishing enthusiasts each year, staying in remote villages who benefit from their custom and would otherwise require government support.