If you have found your way to this blog there is a pretty good chance that you are a fisherman. If you are not, that´s no big deal. Welcome! It is likely, particularly if you have a fishing background, that you are familiar with the salmon farming industry and with the impact it has on wild fish. This is a widely known story but, I suspect, among a fairly narrow band of people. It is time that we spread the message a little further and I was hoping you might consider helping with that effort.

My good friend Paul Reddish has a professional history of wildlife film making and he recently directed a short film on the Scottish open net salmon farming industry. To be honest, it is a pretty tough watch, particularly if the health of wild salmon and sea trout populations is important to you, as it is to Paul and I and many of our friends.

The film tells the story visually, if you are not familiar with the damage caused by this industry, and it is well worth a watch.

As I was walking the dogs today I listened to an interview with Nick Measham who is the CEO of WildFish. He discussed the various threats facing salmon and trout in the UK and the discussion inevitably led to the nasty business of open cage salmon farming. In addition to the points covered in Paul´s film, he mentioned another couple of things that I found interesting.

First among them was the effect that the industry has on fisheries and communities thousands of miles from the salmon farms. Salmon are apex predators and to grow a kilo of salmon you need to feed it more than a kilo of food fish, like sardines, that are harvested far away. Those fodder fish are sucked out of the the oceans off the west coast of Africa and the south Pacific by factory fishing vessels and the local fisheries are impacted as a result.

A second point he made was the mortality figures which are astronomically high at 25% which compares to something like 3% for chickens and 5% for cattle.

The provenance of the fish is not disclosed by supermarkets and the salmon is cleverly marketed and packaged to make the impression that this is a healthy, sustainable product. It is my arse!

One of the WildFish organisation´s campaigns, recently brought to life, is to get chefs who have often got a high profile to take these fish off their menus. This is something I think we should all try to do.

Maybe we can spread the message more widely?

Here is Paul´s film: