When filmmaker Tavish Campbell, from Canada’s British Colombia, went for a dive to investigate a wastewater pipe in Brown’s Bay on Canada’s Vancouver Island, he found potentially infectious blood water being dumped directly into the Canadian sea harming the natural environment.
Later, Campbell published a video showing blood water coming from a pipe coming out of a fish processing plant and flowing under the water in one of the most common salmon migration routes; he wrote:
“Investigative dives at two farmed salmon processing plants reveal a shocking and horrendous secret hidden below the surface. Bloody effluent, untreated and infected with piscine reovirus, is being dumped into the pristine waters. Are we crazy? We all know blood carries viruses. This is an infectious disease.”
The blood water contains Piscine Orthoreovirus, which can affect the heart, skeletal and muscle structure of Salman and other fish. Though the virus is not harmful to the humans, it is life-threatening to the wild Salman migrating through Discovery Passage each year.
— Anon.Dos (@anondos_) December 8, 2017
The footage prompted an investigation by Canadian authorities into Campbell’s allegations that fish plants in British Columbia are spewing virus-laden bloody water from processed, farmed salmon into the water off the coast of Vancouver Island. Fisheries minister Dominic Leblanc told The HuffPost:
“It’s designed to shock people. I was suitably concerned when I saw it. The government has already committed to updating the Fisheries Act to incorporate modern safeguards and if there are ways to do that to protect wild salmon he wants to hear them. I would be open to all kinds of thoughtful suggestions to make sure that we’ve strengthened it in the right way.”
George Heyman, British Colombia’s environment minister, is going to do a full audit of the plants in Campbell’s video. However, a spokesman for Heyman told The Canadian Press:
“There are provincial regulations for fish processing facilities that include the requirement of an effluent discharge permit. Two of the plants in the Campbell video were issued permits more than 20 years ago; one is in the process of being updated now to reflect more modern standards including better filtration and disinfection technology.”