Brazil: Dead Fish Swamp Future Olympic Rowing Venue

The Rio de Janeiro lake where Olympic rowers will compete in three years time has been filled with an estimated 65 tons of dead fish.

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Sergio Moraes / Reuters

Municipal workers collect dead fish at the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon in Rio de Janeiro, March 13, 2013.

The lake in Rio de Janeiro where rowers will compete at the 2016 Olympics Games has been filled with an estimated 65 tons of dead fish, according to the Herald Sun.

The water in the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon became deoxygenated after storms last week washed “a large amount of organic matter” into the lake, leading to the death of thousands of fish called shad, the Guardian reported.

(MORE: Rio 2016: Is Brazil Going to Be Ready for the Olympics?)

Rio’s municipal department of the environment launched a two-day emergency clean-up operation with 100 municipal workers to remove the dead fish from the lake, which is located in the heart of the city and a popular tourist attraction, the Daily Mail noted.

According to the Herald Sun, environmental authorities said the situation is improving as no dead fish were pulled out of the lake at the end of last week.  However, this isn’t the first time the lagoon had to be cleaned up.  A similar incident in 2009 led to the removal of an estimated 100 tons of fish, the Guardian reported.

(MORE: Thousands of Dead Pigs Pulled from Shanghai River, Prompting Contamination Fears)