They’re Still Hauling Tons Of Dead Fish From Polluted Rio Olympic Lake
September 2 / Rick Chandler / SportsGrid
Official Rio de Janiero 2016 Olympics press release: These poor fish died of old age. It certainly has nothing to do with pollution -- all rowers, kayakers, etc., should prepare for their events as normal, because our water venues are as crystal clear as a high Sierra trout stream and those rashes on your arms are just from your shampoo.
It's 11 months to the Rio Summer Olympics, and the water venues are still places that Andy Dufrense wouldn't swim through to escape Shawshank Prison. Back in April, the Associated Press had experts test the water in the lakes and lagoons in question, and it found dangerously high levels of viruses and bacteria. Many athletes who are training there have fallen ill, some with serious skin conditions.
Every summer there is a huge fish dieoff in Rio de Janeiro’s Jacarepagua Lagoon, which will play host to many events. That's due to the sewage and other pollutants there and in nearby lakes. This year is no different, even though the Rio Olympic Committee promised that it would be cleaned up up by now. But as of this past weekend, they were still hauling dead fish out of the Olympic lakes and lagoons.
Over the weekend, "thousands of tilapia, sea bass and mullets" started washing up on the shore of Rio de Janeiro’s Jacarepagua Lagoon, Brazilian environmentalist and biologist Mario Moscatelli told the Associated Press. This particular waterway will not be used for any events during the games. However, the lagoon is adjacent to the Olympic Park, and according to Moscatelli, the die-off could happen again next summer during the Olympics.
Moscatelli believes that the fish died because of insufficient oxygen in the water, blaming the condition on pollutants and untreated human waste that flows into the lagoon.
Much of the sewage system in many parts of Rio are simply open-air ditches that flow into nearby lakes and lagoons, which is why there's such a mess. It's a huge undertaking to clean it all up, and should have been started ion the day Rio got the Olympics. Improving the city's sanitation infrastructure could be a way to convince Brazilians that taking on the Olympics was a good idea after all.
But several tons of dead fish can't be wrong -- so far, it's a mess.
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