This footage drew attention to a pair of Island fish processing plants. Brown’s Bay Packing Company says its effluent is treated to a higher-than-required standard.

‘Blood-red’ discharge treated to higher standard: fish processor

Brown’s Bay packing plant issues statement saying their effluent exceeds standards

The local fish packing plant at the centre of a controversial video showing a bloody-red discharge into the waters of Brown’s Bay says their effluent is disinfected to a standard higher than is required.

“Brown’s Bay Packing Company, like all plants processing farm-raised Atlantic salmon in B.C., disinfects effluent before it is released into the marine environment,” the company says in a statement on its website.

The company was responding to media reports on a video produced by Quadra Island photographer Tavish Campbell that showed a bright red effluent being discharged from the plant into the waters of Brown’s Bay, north of Campbell River. Coverage of the video Blood Water: B.C.’s Dirty Salmon Farming Secret appeared in national and international media coverage.

While the liquid discharged remains red in colour, the treatment process is designed specifically to treat for fish pathogens, Brown’s Bay Packing Company says.

“The treatment of that effluent is to a level higher than provincial standards for fish plants, and is governed by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by all companies farming and processing Atlantic salmon. The MoU explicitly states that all plants will have a functional disinfection system in place, all water/ice, blood-water, wash-water and other wastewater within the processing plant will be collected and treated through the processing plant central treatment system, all blood-water and wastewater used during off loading and transport from the boat to processing plant will be contained and treated.

“The disinfection standards in the MoU are designed based on the Norwegian standard – which has been determined to be effective in in-activating fish virus.”’

Browns Bay Packing Company is certified to the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices standard, an audited, international standard, that also exceeds provincial standards. Brown’s Bay Packing Company is a Federally licensed and Provincially permitted processing company employing 60 people and has been custom processing farm raised salmon since 1989.