After all these years and months and days, it’s hard to believe it’s actually ready. In fact, the North American screening tour for Artifishal kicks off this Friday, April 12th, 7:00pm at Patagonia Portland. The last few months have been absolutely crazy with political outreach, marketing materials, tour scheduling, and everything else Patagonia is putting behind the film. While it’s left me little time to do things like, say, actually keep up with this blog posting business, I am grateful for the full-court press. Hey, they even made some sweet HATS and T-SHIRTS!
Check out the trailer above, and if you can, come to one of the screenings. Tour dates, FAQs and other info available HERE. I will be at the Portland, Vancouver, San Francisco, Ventura, Dillon, Bozeman and SoHo events. There will also be a Seattle screening sometime in May, date TBD. The full film will be available online in September, so until then, best bet is to watch it in person at one of our events. I look forward to meeting you there. Hope you are all well.
In August, after celebrating a First Salmon ceremony with our Lummi friends, we were touring the Tribal Center with Darryl Hillaire. His phone rang. He answered it and spoke with a grave expression and hushed tone. Cooke Aquaculture’s net-pen salmon farm on nearby Cypress Island had collapsed that morning, releasing hundreds of thousands of non-native Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound. It was a sour and alarming note to end our time with fellow salmon people.
In September, the kids and I made signs and took to the water to protest Cooke’s net-pen facility just off our home island. This net pen, the site of past viral outbreaks and source of chemical and fecal pollution, is outrageously situated adjacent to the Orchard Rocks Marine Conservation Area. The event was planned by Wild Fish Conservancy long before the Cypress Island incident, but the disaster added urgency to what we were doing. More importantly, a wider group of citizens, the media and politicians were paying attention now.
Last Friday, Governor Jay Inslee, signed into law the bill banning non-native net-pen salmon farming in Washington state. Outright victories in the fish conservation world can be few and far between, but after years of trying, this one came together quickly. Huge thanks to Wild Fish Conservancy, State Senator Kevin Ranker (who sponsored the bill), and all the activists, advocates and citizens who protested, called and raised enough of a ruckus to make this happen. It’s a big win for the Salish Sea, wild salmon, and, on a personal level, a great lesson in democracy for Skyla and Weston. We are stoked!