The decline of the Atlantic salmon

Streaming from

Genova, Italy

Event local time


June 25th at 15:00 in your time zone

Free event

Few fish species are as symbolic and romanticized as the salmon, who are venerated by indigenous peoples wherever they are found. In Celtic mythology they’re synonymous with wisdom: legendary hunter-warrior Finn McCool became wise after eating the Salmon of Knowledge.

Nowadays, however, the salmon is in danger of passing forever into the realm of mythology, with their numbers having decreased by as much as 85% since the 1970s. Few know the plight of Atlantic salmon better than Michael Walsh, a traditional fisher on the Munster Blackwater river that flows through the counties of Kerry, Cork and Waterford.

Michael is one of the last fishers left on Blackwater, and his small operation is one of the only ones owned by an Irishman. In his own words, the over-exploitation of the fishery over the last 40 years has been the biggest disappointment in his life.

Despite millions of euros of investment in research to study the decline of the salmon and try to reverse the trend, the results so far don’t give much hope for the future. As Michael says, “I’ve fished since I was 11 years of age, and fishing was always a way of life for me, and generations before me, but it looks like I’ll be the last generation fishing for wild Atlantic salmon in our river.”

The Food Talks are digital format for
Slow Fish 2021: ten minutes talks on the environment, fishing and food: a collective framework of the future we want and need. The protagonists of the Food Talks are fishers who, together with anthropologists, ecologists and experts, offer their vision of the seas, their problems and potential solutions. Food Talks are supported by UniCredit.

Ph. iStock Photo by Getty Images | matthayes01

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Event languages: IT

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