Something concerning is taking place in a bay in Canada, located along British Columbia’s largest wild salmon migration route. Reportedly, an Atlantic salmon processing plant has been caught releasing “blood water,” which contains pathogens, into the environment. Filmmaker Tavish Campbell discovered this fact while diving during the months of April, June and October.
In the video below, blood from Brown’s Bay Packing Company is seen being poured into the waterways. The harrowing footage has raised questions about the practice and concerns about the safety of wildlife.
Says Campbell in the clip: “As I approached the outpour pipe and my light illuminated the bloody water, I think I just about choked on my regulator. It was unbelievable.” After sending samples of the “blood water” to a scientist for analysis, he was shocked even further.
It turns out, the samples tested positive for numerous pathogens, including intestinal worms and piscine reovirus (PVR). As IFLScience reports, PVR is not dangerous to humans. However, it can can damage to the heart and skeletal muscles of salmon.
The footage went viral after Campbell posted it. Not long after, Brown’s Bay Packing Company made a statement saying that all discharge is disinfected before it is released. This is done to protect the marine environment. The statement also mentioned that the method is based on a Norwegian model and is “perfectly legal.” Reportedly, the BC Salmon Farmers Association also defended the processing plant.
Consumers and officials are still worried, however. Said the Minister of Environment of British Columbia, George Heyman, after being questioned on the issue in parliament: “I had the same reaction that British Columbians and Canadians did: what is going on here?” Heyman added that authorities are now reviewing the samples taken by Campbell and will take further samples of the blood water, if needed.
Releasing salmon waste into the migration route of wild salmon could have irreversible consequences. It is for this reason Campbell’s findings need to be taken seriously and shared far-and-wide.
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Image Credit: Tavish Campbell