As thick red blood gushes from a pipe on the ocean’s floor, underwater photographer Tavish Campbell holds up a large sign reading: “2019 Fish Farm Virus Still Flowing.”
Campbell dove in Brown’s Bay, B.C., four times since Oct. 31 and recorded a video of what he saw underwater, almost two years after he first exposed bloody effluent pouring into the waters around B.C.’s Discovery Islands, where one of Canada’s largest migratory routes for wild salmon is located.
“I went back to do a dive as I was very curious to see if anything had changed,” Campbell told CTV News. “I am disappointed to say that nothing has changed. The blood is still flowing and we got it tested and unfortunately it is still infected.”
The bloody wastewater comes from a pipe connected to Brown’s Bay Packing. The company, which is located near Campbell River, B.C., has been processing farmed Atlantic salmon since 1989.
“When I dive I have an underwater camera with two big lights and the minute I turn them on, it illuminates this brilliant red colour,” Campbell said. “It is blood, water, scales and mucus just pouring out.”
It’s not the first time Campbell has witnessed this spectacle through his underwater lens. The 30-year-old photographer first discovered the pipe in the fall of 2017.