What killed tons of fish in European river? Thriller deepens

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Laboratory tests subsequent a mass die-off of fish in the Oder River detected high ranges of salinity but no mercury poisoning its waters, Poland’s natural environment minister said Saturday as the thriller continued as to what killed tons of fish in Central Europe.

Anna Moskwa, the minister of local climate and natural environment, explained analyses of river samples taken in equally Poland and Germany disclosed elevated salt concentrations. Comprehensive toxicology scientific tests are however underway in Poland, she stated.

She claimed Poland’s point out veterinary authority tested 7 species of the lifeless fish and dominated out mercury as the trigger of the die-off but was even now ready for success of other substances. She reported test final results from Germany experienced also not shown a superior existence of mercury.


The Oder River operates from Czechia to the border between Poland and Germany before flowing into the Baltic Sea. Some German media experienced instructed that the river have been poisoned with mercury.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stated Friday that “huge amounts of chemical waste” have been likely dumped intentionally into his country’s 2nd-longest river, leading to environmental harm so serious it would just take several years for the waterway to get well.

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

Volunteers recuperate dead fish from the drinking water of the German-Polish border river Oder in Lebus, jap Germanny, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. 
(Patrick Pleul/dpa by using AP)

On Saturday, Morawiecki vowed to do every little thing achievable to restrict the environmental devastation. Poland’s inside minister claimed a reward of 1 million zlotys ($220,000) would be compensated to any one who can help observe down all those responsible for polluting the river.


Authorities in the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania warned individuals not to fish or use h2o from the Szczecin lagoon, as the river’s contaminated h2o was predicted to access the estuary location on Saturday evening.

“The extent of the fish die-off is shocking. This is a blow to the Oder as a waterway of fantastic ecological value, from which it will presumably not recuperate for a extensive time,” stated Alex Vogel, the ecosystem minister for Germany’s Brandenburg point out, together which the river operates.

The head of Polish waters, Poland’s nationwide h2o administration authority, claimed Thursday that 10 tons of useless fish had been eradicated from the river. Hundreds of volunteers had been working to help gather lifeless fish alongside the German aspect.

German laboratories said they detected “atypical” levels of “salts” that could be linked to the die-off but wouldn’t thoroughly clarify them on their own.

Morawiecki acknowledged that some Polish officials were being “sluggish” in reacting after substantial numbers of useless fish were found floating and washing ashore, and stated two of them ended up dismissed.

“For me, on the other hand, the most important point is to offer with this ecological disaster as before long as doable, due to the fact mother nature is our common heritage,” Morawiecki explained.

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His remarks ended up echoed by Schwedt Mayor Annekathrin Hoppe, whose German town is situated subsequent to the Reduced Oder Valley National Park. She referred to as the contamination of the river “an environmental catastrophe of unparalleled scale” for the region.

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