Fish perish in the Oder: from what did the animals die?

Schwedt / Potsdam. The death of thousands of fish in the Oder is a mystery. Brandenburg Environment Minister Axel Vogel (Greens) confirmed that mercury contamination had been found in the Oder River – “but we cannot make any statements at the moment that mercury is responsible for the death of the fish,” he said Friday in Schwedt. “We don’t know at the moment what they died for.”

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A combination of several factors such as heat, low water supplies and toxins is possible, Vogel said. “It is very likely that these substances have been introduced into the Oder for a long time, but they are usually not a problem at all in average water levels.” Currently, however, there are historically low water levels in the Oder.

Such small amounts of water meant that every substance in the water was present in a higher concentration, Vogel said. Therefore, substances that were usually not very dangerous in dosage can now be dangerous due to overdose. The environment minister said it has now been clarified that fish are also dying in Germany and that it is not just the dead animals that were washed up from Poland in the water.

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Poland wants to submit test results on Sunday at the earliest

According to the Polish Environmental Protection Agency, the cause of fish deaths is likely to be industrial water pollution. Poland will be able to present the results of the test of dead fish masses from the Oder River on Sunday as soon as possible. So far, he has not received any fish, the director of the State Research Institute in Boulawi, Krzysztof Nimchuk, told APS on Friday.

Fish should be checked for minerals, pesticides, and other toxic substances. “There are a lot of substances that can kill the fish and we can’t say at this point what could be the cause,” Nimchuk said.

According to the Polish Water Authority, ten tons of dead fish have already been recovered from the Oder.

The death of fish in the Oder has worried people in Brandenburg, on the border with Poland, for days. Thousands of dead fish were discovered in the river, some near Frankfurt (Oder) and surrounding towns. According to the Polish Water Authority, ten tons of dead fish have been recovered.

The area along the Oder River will be flown by drone to see how the fish mortality develops, said Karina Durk, Ukermark district manager. An operation to collect dead fish is scheduled for the German side next Saturday.

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Tensions between Berlin and Warsaw

There was increasing criticism of the Polish authorities. Dead fish were found in Poland at the end of July and water samples were taken for the first time. Brandenburg State Environment Minister Vogel criticized the lack of information on Thursday.

“I am shaken. Not only by the deaths of thousands of fish, but also by the failure of the information chain from Poland. If simple reporting chains do not succeed in the event of an environmental disaster, there is a fundamental need for discussion .

Frankfurt (Oder) Green Party spokeswoman Alina Karaczynski said frustration was deep about the breach of trust in the Chamber. “Multiple failures of information obligations and perhaps even an attempt to cover up an environmental disaster. This has to be dealt with at the federal level between Germany and Poland.”

Loire Valley: “This is just a disaster for the national park”

Conservationists assume far-reaching consequences for Lower Oder Valley National Park. “The effects are horrific,” National Park Deputy Director Michael Tautenhan told DPA Friday morning. “This is just a disaster for the national park.”

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The entire wave of poisoning passed through the Oder. Dead fish were seen floating along the width of the river. Zander, catfish, kadijnon and loach are affected. Sea eagles and other birds can swallow poison from dead fish. The Lower Oder Valley National Park is one of Germany’s richest habitats.

RND / dpa

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