“We call on the Icelandic government to show leadership in Europe and ban open net salmon farming.”
Outdoor lifestyle brand Patagonia has called on the Icelandic government to ban open net salmon farming. The company is launching a campaign against the salmon farming sector in Iceland, accompanied by the release of its new film, “Laxaþjóð: A Salmon Nation*.”
The film premier in Iceland on Thursday will feature high-profile speakers, including Hilary Franz from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, who last year signed an executive order banning commercial finfish farming in Washington state waters.
The campaign and launch are being promoted by celebrities, including Icelandic superstar Bjork, who shared information about the film with her six million Instagram, Facebook and Twitter followers.
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The Icelandic government is currently reviewing a draft aquaculture bill, which aims to address fish health issues and establish a new taxation and regulatory system. The bill is expected to be adopted this year.
Iceland is increasingly viewed as the next growth area for salmon farming, with major international farming giants such as Mowi and Salmar investing in the country alongside the emergence of a booming homegrown land-based industry.
Patagonia, founded by billionaire Yvon Chouinard, has been actively opposing the salmon farming industry for several years, including through film campaigns and backing NGOs in various countries.
In 2022, Chouinard transferred their ownership of the company, valued at about $3 billion, to a specially designed trust and a nonprofit organization created to preserve the company’s independence and ensure that its profits – some $100 million a year – are used to promote green initiatives.
A Bloomberg analysis found that the structure of Chouinard’s deal means that he is able to avoid the tax he would have paid if he’d sold the company. It also reportedly means that his heirs will avoid estate and gift taxes, and that the family will keep control of the company.