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High salinity within European river after fish die-off

WARSAW, Poland (AP) Laboratory tests following a mass dying from fish detected high degrees of salinity but no mercury in waters of Central Europes Oder River, Polands environment minister said Saturday.

Anna Moskwa, the minister of climate and environment, said analyses of river samples used both Poland and Germany revealed the elevated salt levels. Comprehensive toxicology studies remain underway in Poland, she said.

Writing on Twitter, Moskwa said test outcomes transmitted from Germany had up to now not shown a higher presence of mercury.

The Oder River runs from the Czech Republic, also referred to as Czechia, and across the border between Poland and Germany before flowing in to the Baltic Sea. Some German media had reported that the river could possibly be poisoned with mercury.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Friday that large sums of chemical waste were probably dumped intentionally into his countrys second-longest river, causing environmental damage so severe it could take years for the waterway to recuperate.

On Saturday, Morawiecki vowed to accomplish everything possible to limit environmentally friendly devastation. Polands interior minister said an incentive of just one 1 million zlotys ($200,000) will be paid to anyone who helps locate those in charge of polluting the river.

Authorities in the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania warned people never to fish or use water from the Szczecin lagoon because the rivers contaminated water was likely to reach the estuary area Saturday evening.

The extent of the fish die-off is shocking. It is a blow to the Oder as a waterway of great ecological value, that it’ll presumably not recover for a long period, Alex Vogel, the surroundings minister for Germanys Brandenburg state, along that your river runs.

The top of Polish waters, Polands national water management authority, said Thursday that 10 a great deal of dead fish have been taken off the river. A huge selection of volunteers were attempting to help collect dead fish across the German side.

German laboratories said they detected atypical degrees of salts that may be from the die-offs but wouldnt explain them by themselves.

Morawiecki acknowledged that some public officials were sluggish in reacting after huge amounts of dead fish were first seen floating and washing ashore.

Two Polish officials were dismissed for what Morawiecki referred to as tardiness within their response. EASILY come to the final outcome that there is a significant breach of duties, further consequences will undoubtedly be drawn, the prime minister said.

For me personally, however, it is important is to cope with this ecological disaster as quickly as possible, because nature is our common heritage. This is a national good, Morawiecki said.

His comments were echoed by Schwedt Mayor Annekathrin Hoppe, whose German town is situated close to Lower Oder Valley National Park. She called the contamination of the river an environmental catastrophe of unprecedented scale for the spot.

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