Laboratory assessments following a mass die-off of fish within the Oder River detected excessive ranges of salinity however no mercury poisoning its waters, Poland’s surroundings minister mentioned Saturday because the thriller continued as to what killed tons of fish in Central Europe.
Anna Moskwa, the minister of local weather and surroundings, mentioned analyses of river samples taken in each Poland and Germany revealed elevated salt ranges. Complete toxicology research are nonetheless underway in Poland, she mentioned.
She mentioned Poland’s state veterinary authority examined seven species of the lifeless fish and dominated out mercury as the reason for the die-off however was nonetheless ready for outcomes of different substances. She mentioned check outcomes from Germany had additionally not proven a excessive presence of mercury.
The Oder River runs from Czechia to the border between Poland and Germany earlier than flowing into the Baltic Sea. Some German media had recommended that the river have been be poisoned with mercury.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki mentioned Friday that “huge amounts of chemical waste” had been most likely dumped deliberately into his nation’s second-longest river, inflicting environmental harm so extreme it will take years for the waterway to get well.
On Saturday, Morawiecki vowed to do every little thing attainable to restrict the environmental devastation. Poland’s inside minister mentioned a reward of 1 million zlotys ($220,000) could be paid to anybody who helps observe down these accountable 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 succeed in the estuary space on Saturday night.
“The extent of the fish die-off is shocking. This is a blow to the Oder as a waterway of great ecological value, from which it will presumably not recover for a long time,” mentioned Alex Vogel, the surroundings minister for Germany’s Brandenburg state, alongside which the river runs.
The top of Polish waters, Poland’s nationwide water administration authority, mentioned Thursday that 10 tons of lifeless fish had been faraway from the river. Lots of of volunteers had been working to assist accumulate lifeless fish alongside the German aspect.
German laboratories mentioned they detected “atypical” ranges of “salts” that may very well be linked to the die-off however wouldn’t absolutely clarify them on their very own.
Morawiecki acknowledged that some Polish officers had been “sluggish” in reacting after enormous numbers of lifeless fish had been seen floating and washing ashore, and mentioned two of them had been dismissed. “For me, however, the most important thing is to deal with this ecological disaster as soon as possible, because nature is our common heritage,” Morawiecki mentioned.
His feedback had been echoed by Schwedt Mayor Annekathrin Hoppe, whose German city is situated subsequent to the Decrease Oder Valley Nationwide Park. She referred to as the contamination of the river “an environmental catastrophe of unprecedented scale” for the area.