A test carried out at Vale do Gaio reservoir has left hundreds of fish dead after they were caught when sluice gates shut and literally ran out of water. The stink that has resulted has been labelled an environmental disaster by locals, but discounted by dam bosses who claim it could even have “all been for the best”. There were too many fish in Alentejan dams, one told Público.
The incident took place following the request by authorities in charge of Vale do Gaio for extra water.
As João Pedro Salema, president of the management of connecting Alqueva dam, explained, this is not the ideal time of year for replenishing supplies as farmers are intent on irrigation.
The procedure was a ‘test’ that may have unwittingly killed hundreds of fish, but was not an environmental disaster, he told Lusa.
“It could even be seen as a good thing,” he added, explaining there is a “high number of fish in Alentejan dams”.
Público added that it tried to get the point of view of farmers in receipt of water from the reservoir but was informed that “everyone was involved in the clean-up operation”.