What's behind the monstrous fountain of blood that shoots into the water on the Pacific coast
"I didn't know it would be so horrible and disgusting."
The picturesque water surface in front of the Canadian Vancouver Islands actually conveys a picture of peace. But further down there is a gruesome spectacle: unnoticed, a powerful flow of blood pours from a pipe into the otherwise calm water. Researchers warn that the bloody surge could have catastrophic consequences for the fish in the adjacent waters.
The videographer and photographer Tavish Campbell discovered the pipe a few months ago during a dive near a factory processing Atlantic salmon. He tells Motherboard that he had made a targeted dive here after noticing how much the ecosystem in the area has changed since the opening of fish farms and fish factories.
Although he assumed that not only normal wastewater would be discharged into the river, he did not expect a monstrous fountain of blood and fish waste.
"I didn't know it would be so horrible and disgusting,"Campbell said. The water had "shimmered from all the scales and blood".
Campbell took samples of the blood coming out of the tube and sent them to the activist and biologist Alexandra Morton. She had samples analysed at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Canada. In the blood, Morton found both intestinal worms and a reovirus, which is widespread in farmed and wild salmon and is said to be responsible for inflammation of the heart and skeletal muscles (HSMI) in fish. Although the virus is considered harmless to humans, it can kill up to 20 percent of an infected fish population.
What is happening in the Canadian province of British Columbia is an absolute nightmare for any marine biologist. Blood is a carrier for infectious diseases and the infected blood flows directly into the river and exposes the native wild fish to the pathogens.
According to the Canadian news channel CTV News, the pipe seems to lead to Brown's Bay Packing Company. The factory is located near the Campbell River and processes Atlantic farmed salmon. The plant manager, Dave Stover, confirmed to CTV that the plant had a sewer pipe and also had a permit for it. We have also asked Stover for an opinion, but we have not yet received a reply.
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