Exmoor exhibition set to put the decline of salmon and the state of our rivers in the spotlight

 A new exhibition on Exmoor is set to put the alarming state of our rivers in the spotlight. ‘Fabulous Fish’, ideated and created by well-renowned artist Jo Minoprio, will showcase the work of 10 professional artists which all together will form a compelling artistic intervention into the situation under the surface of our UK waterways and further afield.

‘Fabulous Fish’ will run daily from 25thMarch – 8th April 2023, from 11am-5pm, at Lanacre Barn Gallery in Withypool, Exmoor, TA24 7SD. It will be open to the public, admission is free, and refreshments will be available.

The exhibition will serve as a celebration of the rich biodiversity surrounding our rivers, and significantly, draw attention to the pressures that are inhibiting it. It will be an ambassador for the realisation that we all have a part to play in addressing the challenge of global climate change and habitat destruction.

At the epicentre of these pressures, and therefore the exhibition, is a species facing devastating collapse; wild Atlantic salmon. As a migratory species that traverses many regions and habitats, including freshwater and marine, salmon act as a key indicator species; representing the global health of our rivers, oceans and ultimately, our relationship with the natural world that sustains all human activity. Legendary in reputation and persistent in nature, the wild Atlantic salmon is our waters’ equivalent of the canary in the coalmine and are informing us of the wider issues caused by the twin crisis of climate change & biodiversity loss.

Lanacre Barn Gallery overlooks the River Barle, where according to electrofishing research, 70-80% of returning salmon in the entire Exe catchment spawn.

The exhibition has brought together a community of artists, scientists, educators, and environmental groups from all over the UK. Members of the Missing Salmon Alliance (MSA), a group of leading salmon conservation organisations fighting to reverse the decline of wild Atlantic salmon around the UK, are providing support for the exhibition. This includesessential scientific background advice from Game Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) and some ground-breaking footage on the life cycle of salmon for visitors to watch throughout the exhibition from Atlantic Salmon Trust (AST). The MSA continue to advocate for the protection of freshwater environments and the improvement of water quality and quantity in order to reduce losses of salmon in our rivers, coastal waters, and open ocean.

‘Fabulous Fish’ draws attention to the salmon crisis and thus the challenges faced by many other species across freshwater and marine environments. For example, celebrated artist and Society of Wildlife Artists member, Julia Manning, will be exhibiting her work ‘The Decline of Eels’, a series of 12 limited edition print reliefs, to raise awareness of this important conservation issue and pose fundamental questions about man’s relationship with wildlife and the wider environment.

There will be talks from local experts and conservationists throughout the exhibition. Phil Turnbull of The Westcountry Rivers Trust, crayfish researcher, Nicky Green, and Riverfly Monitoring lead on the Exe, Fred Leach, will be presenting on March 27th at 5.30pm (this event is fully booked). Roger Furniss will also be giving a talk on April 5that 5.30pm titled ‘Exmoor Rivers, A National Treasure’. To attend, get in touch here: CONTACT LANACRE BARN GALLERY | moorlandart

Speaking about the project, artist Jo Minoprio said: “I have decided to use my Fish exhibition as a platform to raise awareness of how desperate the situation is, right now, beneath the surface of our rivers here on Exmoor. I am a keen angler, carry out river fly monitoring, am a voluntary water bailiff, am on the board of the Exmoor Rivers and Streams Group (ERASG) and am passionate about saving the salmon and therefore our rivers. I am incredibly grateful to all those that have helped me better form my views and have supplied me with equipment, words and advertising. Namely, The Atlantic Salmon Trust, The Westcountry Rivers Trust, The Exmoor National Parks, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, The Missing Salmon Alliance and The Exmoor River and Streams Group. With much appreciated sponsorship from The River Barle Fishing Club and The River Exe and Tributaries Association.”


PR Contacts

Claire Zambuni [email protected]07921299990

Iona Mackay [email protected]07504661424

Exhibition website: https://www.moorlandart.com

Missing Salmon Alliance: Founded in 2019, a group of Britain’s leading conservation-focused organisations formed the Missing Salmon Alliance. Their combined expertise has continued to drive action to save our wild Atlantic salmon from the brink of extinction. The member organisations are the Atlantic Salmon Trust, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Angling Trust with Fish Legal, Fisheries Management Scotland, and the Rivers Trust.

The Atlantic Salmon Trust was established against a backdrop of growing concerns over the significant decline in numbers of wild Atlantic salmon. The Trust is recognised to be one of the first conservation charities to be working on behalf of wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout.

The Atlantic Salmon Trust exists solely for the protection of wild salmon and sea trout. Their aim is to create a positive future for these keystone species; using scientific research to understand their decline and put evidence-based solutions into practice to better protect them.