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APTOPIX Paraguay Polluted River

Thousands of dead fish filled a river in Paraguay


Thousands of dead fish filled a river in Paraguay over the weekend.

APTOPIX Paraguay Polluted River
Dead fish float in the Confuso river near Villa Hayes, Paraguay, 30 kilometers north of the capital Asuncion, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. Municipal authorities are investigating the cause. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

An investigation was launched to figure out what caused the massive flood of carcasses in the Confuso River in Villa Hayes, near Asuncio. Authorities pointed to several factories just upstream from the site as the potential culprits, theorizing that industrial liquid waste deposits could have been behind the mysterious deaths. Other experts believed a lack of oxygen in the water may have caused the incident.

Paraguay Polluted River
Thousands of dead fish float at "Confuso" river near Villa Hayes city, Paraguay, 30 kilometers North from the country's capital on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. Municipality authorities are investigating the cause. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

Similar large scale fish deaths have happened recently in other countries.

In Chile in 2016, an algae bloom known as 'red tide' was identified as the reason for numerous aquatic deaths. The carcasses of more than 300 whales, 8,000 tons of sardines, and 40,000 tons of salmon washed up across Chile's beaches. 'Red tides' are common in Chile, and release a natural toxin that paralyzes fish. However, years past had not seen such vast devastation from the algae. Experts were unsure whether the events could be traced back to fish farming methods, or whether abnormalities in sea temperature carried the blame. The catastrophic scale of the 'red tide' led fishermen to demand compensation for their loss of business.

Chile Fishermen Protest
Dead sardines blanket Tolten beach in Temuco, Chile, Sunday, May 15, 2016. The government declared an emergency zone along Chile's south as it dealt with the algae bloom known as red tide, which kills fish with a toxin that paralyzes the central nervous system. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)

Costa Rica also saw numerous cases of mass fish deaths throughout 2016. A swath of various species were found dead in several rivers in one case, leading some to speculate that sudden water temperature changes and a decrease in oxygen levels were to blame. But scientists later reported that contamination from agricultural chemicals, as well as illegal fish farming practices, were behind the widespread fish deaths.

Rio 2016-Filthy Water
In this Feb. 25, 2015 file photo, dead fish and trash float in the polluted Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Leo Correa, File)

In Brazil in 2015, 50 tons of fish were removed from the sewage-filled waters of a Rio de Janeiro lagoon. The location was intended to play host to numerous Olympic venues the following year, and the potential hazard sparked outrage as event organizers tried to quell health concerns.

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