Thursday, March 14, 2013

65 tonnes of dead fish clog Rio's Olympic lagoon

Flora Graham, digital editor


(Image: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images)

Thousands of fish clog the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They suffocated after heavy rains washed rotting plant matter into the lagoon, causing oxygen levels in the water to drop.

The normally picturesque lagoon has suffered from huge fish fatalities before. Sewage, pollution, blooms of algae and poor drainage to the sea regularly cause oxygen levels in the water to plummet. The iconic lagoon around Venice, Italy, has faced similar problems.

Workers have cleared 65 tonnes of dead fish since Monday, according to Brazilian broadcaster Terra. They'll have to work quickly - the lagoon will host the rowing events at the 2016 Olympic games, and qualifier races begin there on Thursday.

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