The salmon is, as Michael Wigan puts it neatly, ‘natural royalty’ – but only among fish. Irredeemably cold-blooded and scaly, it does not qualify for the sentimental adoration bestowed on badgers, seals, hedgehogs and so on. Apart from a few anglers, ichthyologists and tender-hearted pescaphiles, no one cares much about fish. If they did, the ecological and welfare horror story that is industrial salmon farming would have been outlawed long ago.
Michael Wigan is a passionate and highly accomplished salmon angler, but this is not a fishing book. Nor is it a fish-flavoured spiritual journey, thank goodness. Instead it is an extremely well-informed and clearly presented picture of how the salmon is doing today. The answer, briefly, is not as badly