Björk releasing ‘lost’ song to fight salmon farms in Iceland

Funds raised will go to legal fees for protestors and future action to stop the development of salmon farms
Open net pen salmon farming in Arnarfjörd, Westfjörds, Iceland
Open net pen salmon farming in Arnarfjörd, Westfjörds, Iceland (photo by: Paul Mayal/AP Images).

Iconic musical artist Björk is re-releasing a “lost” song to help fund the fight against open net pen salmon farms in Iceland. The release is part of a collaboration with Spanish singer-songwriter Rosalia. The two have agreed to donate all proceeds from the sale of the new release to AEGIS, an Iceland-based non-profit dedicated to eradicating open net pen salmon farming in Iceland’s waters.

In a tweet highlighting the new release of the song, titled “oral,” the Icelandic artist noted that “industrial salmon farming in open net pens is horrid for the environment. The farmed salmon goes through immense suffering, and it causes severe harm for our planet. This is an extraordinarily cruel way to make food. The fight against the open net pen industry is a part of the fight for the future of the planet.”

According to Björk’s website, all of the proceeds generated from the sale of the release will go to “support legal fees for protesters, taking action to stop the development of intensive farms that harm wildlife, deform fish, and pose risks to salmon's DNA and survival,” adding “immediate action is crucial.”

Salmon farming in Icelandic waters has made headline news multiple times this year, most recently when thousands of Norwegian-strain farmed salmon escaped net pens this year, leading to unconfirmed reports of “intruder” salmon found in over 30 rivers that are home to native Icelandic salmon.

The mounting impacts of salmon farms has ignited a firestorm of opposition in Iceland, with Icelandic anglers and others taking action against the farming operations. This October, approximately 3,000 Icelanders descended on the capital of Reykjavik to protest against Norwegian salmon farming corporations, demanding that the Icelandic government take immediate action against net pens.

icelandic salmon protest
Credit: @flyfishingnation.

In an Instagram post about the fundraising effort and referencing recent protests in Seyðisfjörður — located in Iceland’s Eastfjörds, where foreign conglomerates are seeking to expand their salmon farming operations — Björk noted, “people at the fjord Seyðisfjörður have stood up and protested against fish farming starting there. We would like to donate sales of the song to help with their legal fees and hopefully it can be an exemplary case for others.”

More information about the song release and fundraising effort can be found here.