Common Sense Canadian

Caught on camera: More blood water from Tofino farmed salmon processing plant

Posted December 6, 2017 by Damien Gillis in Oceans

A live camera this morning captured more blood water spilling from the outfall pipe of a farmed salmon processing plant in downtown Tofino. The footage, obtained by investigative diver and filmmaker Tavish Campbell, was posted to facebook with realtime commentary from Campbell and independent biologist and salmon farm critic Alexandra Morton.

The blood water comes from the processing of a fresh batch of farmed salmon harvested from a nearby farm owned by Creative Salmon. A similar discharge was recorded in the summer by Campbell, along with another at Brown’s Bay processing plant north of Campbell River. Tests of those discharges by the Atlantic Veterinary College came back positive for Piscine reovirus, which is know to cause the disease Heart and Skeletal Muscular Inflammation (HSMI) in both farmed and wild salmon. The recent release of that footage caused a firestorm and prompted promises from the provincial and federal governments to review the matter.

Says Morton:

The blood pipe looks like a fire hose of blood, pumping the virus directly into migration corridors. The risk to wild salmon is just astronomical.

The discharge poured directly into Clayoquot Sound, a world-renowned tourism destination and UNESCO biosphere reserve.

Both Morton and Campbell comment on the situation in the above video, which includes graphic footage of the bloody discharge and marine life eating from it. “This current is dispersing infected blood water into critical wild salmon migration routes. It is pure insanity,” says Campbell.

Morton and Campbell are “calling on DFO and the B.C. Government to stop promoting open-net pen salmon farming and a moratorium on new open net-pen fish farms in B.C. with an immediate transition to closed containment farms on land, away from wild salmon migration routes,” according to a press release on the video from conservation group Pacific Wild.


About the Author

Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.


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