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What killed a great deal of fish in European river? Mystery deepens

What killed tons of fish in European river? Mystery deepens
Dead fish lie on the banks of the German-Polish border river Oder in Lebus, eastern Germanny, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. Polands environment minister says laboratory tests carrying out a mass dying from fish detected high degrees of salinity but no mercury in waters of Central Europes Oder River. Credit: Patrick Pleul/dpa via AP

Laboratory tests carrying out a mass die-off of fish in the Oder River detected high degrees of salinity but no mercury poisoning its waters, Poland’s environment minister said Saturday because the mystery continued in regards to what killed a great deal of fish in Central Europe.

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

She said Poland’s state veterinary authority tested seven species of the and eliminated mercury because the reason behind the die-off but was still looking forward to outcomes of other substances. She said test outcomes from Germany had also not shown a higher presence of mercury.

The Oder River runs from Czechia to the border between Poland and Germany before flowing in to the Baltic Sea. Some German media had suggested that the river have already been be poisoned with mercury.

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

On Saturday, Morawiecki vowed to accomplish everything possible to limit environmentally friendly devastation. Poland’s interior minister said an incentive of just one 1 million zlotys ($220,000) will be paid to anyone who helps locate those in charge of polluting the river.

What killed tons of fish in European river? Mystery deepens
Volunteers recover dead fish from the water of the German-Polish border river Oder in Lebus, eastern Germanny, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. Polands environment minister says laboratory tests carrying out a mass dying from fish detected high degrees of salinity but no mercury in waters of Central Europes Oder River. Credit: Patrick Pleul/dpa via AP

Authorities in the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania warned people never to fish or use from the Szczecin lagoon, because the river’s was likely to reach the estuary area on 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,” said Alex Vogel, the surroundings minister for Germany’s Brandenburg state, along that your river runs.

The top of Polish waters, Poland’s 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-off but wouldn’t fully explain them by themselves.

  • What killed tons of fish in European river? Mystery deepens
    Volunteers recover dead fish from the water of the German-Polish border river Oder in Lebus, eastern Germanny, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. Polands environment minister says laboratory tests carrying out a mass dying from fish detected high degrees of salinity but no mercury in waters of Central Europes Oder River. Credit: Patrick Pleul/dpa via AP
  • What killed tons of fish in European river? Mystery deepens
    Volunteers recover dead fish from the water of the German-Polish border river Oder in Lebus, eastern Germanny, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. Polands environment minister says laboratory tests carrying out a mass dying from fish detected high degrees of salinity but no mercury in waters of Central Europes Oder River. Credit: Patrick Pleul/dpa via AP
  • What killed tons of fish in European river? Mystery deepens
    Volunteers recover dead fish from the water of the German-Polish border river Oder in Lebus, eastern Germanny, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. Polands environment minister says laboratory tests carrying out a mass dying from fish detected high degrees of salinity but no mercury in waters of Central Europes Oder River. Credit: Patrick Pleul/dpa via AP
  • What killed tons of fish in European river? Mystery deepens
    Volunteers recover dead fish from the water of the German-Polish border river Oder in Lebus, eastern Germanny, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. Polands environment minister says laboratory tests carrying out a mass dying from fish detected high degrees of salinity but no mercury in waters of Central Europes Oder River. Credit: Patrick Pleul/dpa via AP

Morawiecki acknowledged that some Polish officials were “sluggish” in reacting after huge amounts of dead were seen floating and washing ashore, and said two of these were dismissed.

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

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



2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material might not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Citation: What killed a great deal of fish in European river? Mystery deepens (2022, August 14) retrieved 15 August 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-08-tons-fish-european-river-mystery.html

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