Salmon are an iconic symbol of the coastal North American wild, swimming from the ocean hundreds of miles upstream to spawn, and in the process becoming a keystone species for the watersheds and Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest. But their numbers are declining. And although politically and economically fraught fish hatcheries have long been a boon to anglers, they do little to help wild salmon populations and may even be hurting their chances for recovery. Artifishal explores what happens when humans attempt to command and control a species, and by extension its ecosystem, and poses the question: What if by trying to engineer our way around an environmental problem, our hubris causes us, like Icarus, to make the fatal mistake of flying too close to the sun?
- Josh Murphy