Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% Upgrade now

Germany and Poland search for cause of mass fish die-off in river Oder

Global Aug 12, 2022 19:38
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
4/4 © Reuters. Dead fish float on the surface of the Oder river, as water has been contaminated and is causing the mass extinction of fish in the river, in Bielinek, Poland, August, 11, 2022. Cezary Aszkiełowicz/Agencja Wyborcza.pl via REUTERS 2/4

BERLIN/WARSAW (Reuters) -Polish and German authorities are working "flat-out" to establish the cause behind a mass fish die-off in the river Oder, German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke said on Friday, warning of an environmental catastrophe.

Tonnes of dead fish have been found since late July in the river Oder, which runs through Germany and Poland. Both sides have said they believe a toxic substance is to blame but have yet to identify it.

"An environmental catastrophe is in the offing," Lemke told the RND newspaper group. "All sides are working flat out to find the reasons for this mass die-out and minimise potential further damage."

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the waterway would take years to return to normal.

"The scale of this pollution is very big. So big that the Oder may take years to return to a fairly normal state," Morawiecki said in a regular podcast on Friday.

"It is likely that enormous amounts of chemical waste have been dumped into the river," he said, adding those responsible would be held accountable.

Late on Friday Morawiecki fired the head of Poland's national water management authority, Przemyslaw Daca, and the head of the general environmental inspectorate Michal Mistrzak, saying that their institutions should have reacted earlier.

A spokesperson for the German environment minister told a news conference on Friday that they were following the situation closely, and that it was not yet clear what had got into the water.

"We have an incomplete picture," the spokesperson said. "We need clarity on what materials are in the water."

"GIGANTIC" POLLUTION

Green activists and opposition politicians have criticised the Polish government for not responding quickly enough to the danger and failing to alert Poles to avoid bathing and angling in the river that has been contaminated since late July.

Germany has also grumbled over Poland's response: Brandenburg environment minister Axel Vogel had earlier said "chains of communication between the Polish and German sides did not work in this case".

Earlier Friday, Daca said the situation was serious and that by Thursday evening Poland had collected over 11 tonnes of dead fish.

"The problem is enormous, the wave of pollution runs from Wroclaw to Szczecin. Those are hundreds of kilometres of river, the pollution is gigantic," he was quoted as saying by Polish Radio 24.

An analysis of river water taken this week showed evidence of "synthetic chemical substances, very probably also with toxic effects for vertebrates," the German state of Brandenburg's environment ministry said on Thursday, adding that it remained unclear how the substance entered the water.

According to local German broadcaster rbb, the state laboratory found high levels of mercury in the water samples.

Poland has detected mercury above normal levels in samples of Oder water from the province of Silesia, no traces of the poisonous metal were found in samples taken in the West Pomeranian, Lubusz and Lower Silesian provinces, Deputy Environment Minister Jacek Ozdoba told a news briefing late on Friday.Poland plans to set up a barrier on the Oder near the city of Kostrzyn to collect dead fish flowing down the river, with 150 Territorial Defence Forces soldiers delegated to help with the clean-up.

Germany and Poland search for cause of mass fish die-off in river Oder
 

Related Articles

Russian TV protester confirms she has gone on the run
Russian TV protester confirms she has gone on the run By Reuters - Oct 05, 2022

(Reuters) - Russian TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, famous for staging an on-air protest against Russia's war in Ukraine, confirmed she had escaped house arrest over charges of...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email