Local underwater filmmaker streams virus-laden blood water LIVE from downtown Tofino, B.C., hosted by Pacific Wild.
(Wednesday, December 6, 2017) - Investigative diver Tavish Campbell is streaming LIVE from a farmed salmon processing plant in downtown Tofino. The plant, owned by Lions Gate Fisheries and a partner organization of Creative Salmon, is discharging diseased salmon blood directly into the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO biosphere reserve.
Joined by independent biologist Alexandra Morton and hosted on the Pacific Wild Facebook page, viewers are encouraged to interact in real time and see firsthand the effects these fish farms are having on our environment.
“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,” says Morton.
It’s been over a week since Tavish Campbell, the underwater filmmaker responsible for the ground-breaking Blood Water story, showed the world the raw, infected effluent being released into critical wild salmon migration corridors. Yet despite the government recognizing the importance of wild salmon and being committed to its protection, there has been little mention of specific measures to protect and rebuild salmon stocks on the Pacific coast.
“This current is dispersing infected blood water into critical wild salmon migration routes. It is pure insanity,” says Campbell.
Lab tests have confirmed that this untreated blood water contains Piscine Reovirus (PRV), a highly infectious virus that is linked to Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI), a deadly disease for farmed salmon. Putting PRV-laden water in the ocean poses a huge risk to our wild salmon and other species.
“This is absolutely unacceptable. Fraser River sockeye are in such extreme decline that scientists are recommending listing them as endangered species. We have to take every possible precautionary measure to protect wild salmon now, and this flies in the face of precaution,” says Executive Director Ian McAllister.
Event organizers 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.