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14 Tons Of Oysters Almost Interrupted The Olympic Rowing Events

Delish logo Delish 7/27/2021 Alexis Morillo
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In the midst of these ongoing unprecedented times, Tokyo is updating their protocols to ensure the safety of all of the Olympic teams. Besides the obvious pandemic-related concerns and how that has affected athletes and their daily lives, a more peculiar situation had to be addressed before the start of the Games: an oyster problem.

The Olympic canoeing and rowing events are taking place in the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo Bay, but a massive number of oysters impacted the set up of the course existing. Floats were installed throughout the bay for the purpose of stopping waves from crashing on athletes while they're performing. Instead, oysters latched onto the buoys to the point that their weight starting sinking them around the course.


Video: Japan Spends $1.3M to Get Rid of Oyster Problem at Tokyo Olympics Rowing Venue (Food & Wine)

Japan Spends $1.3M to Get Rid of Oyster Problem at Tokyo Olympics Rowing Venue
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Equipment was used to help remove almost 14 tons (!) of oysters, BBC reported, and the whole ordeal cost about $1.3 million to fix. The exact species were magaki oysters, a type of shellfish considered to be a delicacy of sorts during the winter in Japan; they can be found in the Pacific ocean and in some areas of North America, Australia, Europe, and New Zealand. Ultimately, the removed oysters were not considered for consuming because of the safety checks that would require.

This short-term solution may need to be revisited in the future considering the Sea Forest Waterway is the only international standard rowing course in all of Japan, making it a necessary fixture for future rowing and canoeing training and events post-Olympics.

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