Still image taken from the video from Tavish Campbell's dive which shows a red blood like substance flowing into the water. Image: Google Images
Still image taken from the video from Tavish Campbell's dive which shows a red blood like substance flowing into the water. Image: Google Images

Red discharge pours into Canadian waters

A video from 2017 shows bloody discharge pouring out of an effluent pipe, directly into the Discovery Passage channel located off the coast of Vancouver Island.


According to the diver who filmed the video the discharge is coming from Brown’s Bay Packing Co. Tavish Campbell claims that he did another dive in 2019 and the bloody discharge continued to flow into the channel. Campbell also claims that the discharge has been tested by the Atlantic Veterinary College on Prince Edward Island.

The laboratory results concluded that the discharge contained intestinal worms and piscine orthoreovirus (PRV). Researchers on the west coast of Canada have made links between PRV and the dwindling wild salmon population.

This week the Campbell River based packing company made a public statement.

“While we haven’t seen the video or the laboratory testing results, including sampling methodology, it’s timely to update the public on our progress with wastewater treatment since 2017,” said Dave Stover, managing partner at Brown’s Bay Packing Co.

Highest standards

“The alleged video follows the one from 2017 showing red effluent from our pipe.  The reaction to the original 2017 video understandably prompted concern from government, First Nations, our neighbours, our community, the industry, and our employees. 

“We are held to the highest standards in Canada by the Federal and Provincial Governments and third-party regulators such ASC. We care deeply about our relationships and the environment, and since 1989 we have a proven track record to be innovative, collaborative, and a good community corporate citizen.”


“In January 2018 BC’s Ministry of Environment enacted a process to review waste water treatment permits in the fish processing sector, as most permits on the coast were outdated.   The process also included a review of the best available technology to treat fish processing effluent to ensure that any effluent discharge would have minimal impact on the receiving marine environment,” he added.

“The permit review process lasted approximately 16 months. Upon its conclusion, a completely revamped wastewater treatment permit was issued to us by the Ministry of Environment. Our new permit contains the strictest water quality testing parameters and ongoing monitoring requirements for fish processing effluent on the coast of BC. We fully support the strict and responsible standards.”


“To achieve the results outlined in the permit we invested 1.5 million dollars to improve on the world’s leading technology in wastewater treatment.  Our commitment to develop this leading-edge technology resulted in additional government grant funding.  We are nearing the end of the commissioning phase and our ongoing testing and monitoring continues to conclude that despite over 30 years in operation, we have no measurable impact on the receiving environment. Once complete, we will provide links to our sampling program and our monitoring reports.

“As someone who was raised in the Campbell River area, I have an unwavering commitment to our land and sea.  I believe that its my responsibility to ensure that my business activities operate in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. At Browns Bay we remain committed to ensuring that our operation cares for the environment, our employees, our community, and our partners.

Brown’s Bay Packing Company is a federally licensed and provincially permitted fish processing company located in Campbell River.