Glass salmon shoal artwork in the spotlight at climate conference

The school of glass-blown salmon.

A shoal of 350 glass salmon will be displayed in the Blue Zone at COP26 in Glasgow, as a tribute to a fish that holds great importance to Scotland and also represents a key indicator of the health of our rivers and oceans.

The Salmon School installation, which brings together a community of artists, scientists, educators and environmental groups from all over the world, and will be installed by internationally renowned artist Joseph Rossano, and the sculpture will communicate to delegates that, with the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, iconic wild Atlantic salmon are on a path to extinction.

Wild Atlantic salmon stocks have plummeted by 80% in 25 years, and if the current trend continues wild salmon will be extinct in many areas of the world within the next 30 years. The message behind the installation is ‘Salmon need cold, clean water. Be bold for salmon. Be bold on climate’.

Joseph Rossano says of the Salmon School project: “I think delegates at COP26 care about salmon because any pathogen that can impact salmon, any poison that can be dissolved in salt or freshwater that can impact them, impacts the food chain, impacts us. We’re learning that global climate change is a function of death by a thousand cuts. It’s common terminology in salmon conservation and it will become common terminology in human conservation too so if there’s a canary in a coal mine it would be hard to argue that it isn’t the salmon.”