I’ve been digging around today to find out more about where this sludge came from.  And, in spite of what Coast Guard told me, I can’t find any evidence of it having been derived from any dockwork in Tofino Harbour at all.  I am wondering if there is some more natural source to it.  (That still wouldn’t explain all the beer cans).  The answer is not clear yet, though, so anything anyone has seen that could help solve it should be reported – either as a comment on this site, or directly to DFO.  Please help!

I’ve talked to a few people who work on boats or near the docks and who tell me they saw the sludge drifting in.  The sludge wasn’t really noticed against the docks in town until around midday, around high tide.  But it had been seen already washing up on Tonquin Beach earlier, around 9am (i.e. when the tide was still flooding in), as well as in a patch around Deadmans Island around noon, just before the tide turned, and also in the harbour around Beck Island.  All this makes it sound like it actually drifted in on the flood (or the SW winds) from somewhere to the south or west.  I am wondering if some weird swell, coupled with the recent high tides, has washed it off the top of a beach or rock shelf or something and into the ocean.

Like I said, it still doesn’t explain the beer cans.  If anyone has seen anything that can help resolve this – sludge drifting around elsewhere from possible natural sources, or any suspicious activity that could have caused this, please comment here (with place and date and time of what you saw) and/or report it to DFO.