‘Stunning’ Fish Die-Off Sends Poland Scrambling To Decide Supply

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Laboratory exams following a mass dying off of fish detected excessive ranges of salinity however no mercury in waters of Central Europe’s Oder River, Poland’s setting minister mentioned Saturday.

Anna Moskwa, the minister of local weather and setting, mentioned analyses of river samples taken in each Poland and Germany revealed the elevated salt ranges. Complete toxicology research are nonetheless underway in Poland, she mentioned.

Volunteers recover dead fish from the water of the German-Polish border river Oder in Lebus, eastern Germanny, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022.

Volunteers get better useless fish from the water of the German-Polish border river Oder in Lebus, jap Germanny, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022.
Patrick Pleul/dpa through AP

Writing on Twitter, Moskwa mentioned check outcomes transmitted from Germany had to date not proven a excessive presence of mercury.

The Oder River runs from the Czech Republic, also called Czechia, and alongside the border between Poland and Germany earlier than flowing into the Baltic Sea. Some German media had reported that the river could possibly be poisoned with mercury.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki mentioned Friday that “big quantities of chemical waste” had been in all probability dumped deliberately into his nation’s second-longest river, inflicting environmental injury so extreme it might take years for the waterway to get better.

On Saturday, Morawiecki vowed to do the whole lot potential to restrict the environmental devastation. Poland’s inside minister mentioned a reward of 1 million zlotys ($200,000) can be paid to anybody who helps monitor down these answerable for polluting the river.

Authorities within the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania warned individuals to not fish or use water from the Szczecin lagoon because the river’s contaminated water was anticipated to achieve the estuary space Saturday night.

“The extent of the fish die-off is surprising. It is a blow to the Oder as a waterway of nice ecological worth, from which it can presumably not get better for a very long time,” Alex Vogel, the setting minister for Germany’s Brandenburg state, alongside which the river runs.

Dead fish lie on the banks of the German-Polish border river Oder in Lebus, eastern Germanny, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022.

Useless fish lie on the banks of the German-Polish border river Oder in Lebus, jap Germanny, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022.
Patrick Pleul/dpa through AP

The top of Polish waters, Poland’s nationwide water administration authority, mentioned Thursday that 10 tons of useless fish had been faraway from the river. Lots of of volunteers had been working to assist accumulate useless fish alongside the German facet.

German laboratories mentioned they detected “atypical” ranges of “salts” that could possibly be linked to the die-offs however wouldn’t clarify them on their very own.

Morawiecki acknowledged that some public officers had been “sluggish” in reacting after big numbers of useless fish had been first seen floating and washing ashore.

Two Polish officers had been dismissed for what Morawiecki described as tardiness of their response. “If I come to the conclusion that there was a severe breach of duties, additional penalties can be drawn,” the prime minister mentioned.

“For me, nonetheless, an important factor is to cope with this ecological catastrophe as quickly as potential, as a result of nature is our frequent heritage. It’s a nationwide good,” Morawiecki mentioned.

His feedback had been echoed by Schwedt Mayor Annekathrin Hoppe, whose German city is positioned subsequent to Decrease Oder Valley Nationwide Park. She referred to as the contamination of the river “an environmental disaster of unprecedented scale” for the area.

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