Cermaq Canada accidentally spilled several hundred liters of wastewater from its Tofino, British Columbia, processing plant located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Thursday. The spilled wastewater consisted of over 95 percent seawater, with an estimated blood content of less than 5 percent, the company said on its Facebook page.

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The spill occurred as wastewater was being offloaded from a harvesting vessel into the processing plant’s wastewater management system.

"During this process, a secondary sump pump failed to activate, resulting in the first sump pump being inundated and overflowing," reported Cermaq.

"The overflow went first into a containment trough, then overflowed into the yard and the foreshore area."

Employees immediately stopped the offloading from the harvest vessel and took action to contain the spill using spill pads, said the Mitsubishi-owned salmon giant.

The secondary sump pump, which failed to activate, was replaced immediately following the spill. As a further precaution, the primary pump was also replaced, and an audible overflow alarm has been installed for safety.

Cermaq is looking into additional capture options to eliminate the possibility of a recurrence and will implement measure accordingly, said the company.

It is not the first controversy to hit Cermaq's Canadian operations in recent months.

In December activist Tavish Campbell released footage of blood being released by a pipe owned by Brown's Bay Packing plant*, which he claimed was contaminated with a virus.

Cermaq, which uses Brown's Bay for some of its processing activities, defended the company's investments to improve its discharge systems.

Brown's Bay Packing co-owner and Managing Director Dave Stover told IntraFish that since the video was shot, the company had undergone several audits, and that in May had installated a new CAD 1.5 million ($1.1 million/€1 million) wastewater system.

*Editor's note. A previous version of this story incorrectly reported the wastewater spilled into Campbell River, and incorrectly identified Cermaq as the owner of Brown's Bay Packing plant.