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Brazil's Oil Spill 10 Years Later: A Tragic Preview Of The Gulf's Fate? (VIDEO)

Huffington Post   First Posted: 07/09/10 05:05 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 06:00 PM ET

Al Jazeera's Gabriel Elizondo reports from Brazil, where a decade has passed since the country's largest oil spill in Guanabara Bay, outside Rio de Janeiro. In 2000, almost 350,000 gallons of oil leaked from Petrobras' underwater pipeline, devastating delicate mangrove ecosystems and destroying local habitat. At the time, the Brazilian government said the area would recover after 10 years, but as seen by the large areas of thick black mud and lifeless soil, this is hardly the case.

A local fisherman who has been working the bay his entire life describes how plentiful the crabs and fish were before the spill. But now the crabs don't live there anymore, there is much less fish, and there are even certain fish that can't be found any longer.

Even at the most conservative estimates, the total oil spill in Brazil's Guanabara Bay was only 25% of the amount leaking daily into the Gulf of Mexico. The local Brazilian fisherman fears for the livelihood of those fisherman in the Gulf, "If someone does not help them, it's going to be impossible for them to support their families."

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