It looks terrifying. Doesn’t smell good. It’s more than 30 degrees, and the humidity is high.
In the Oder River on the border between Poland and Germany, more than 100 tons of dead fish were discovered. The fish are still floating in the aquatic shell.
The dead fish were first discovered at the end of July. Now it flows west, for hundreds of kilometers down the Oder River.
We are afraid, even terrified. This is a disaster, says Marius Strzelchik at the local fisheries inspectorate, according to SVT.
Fire crews in Poland have used drones, boats and four-wheel drive vehicles in an attempt to recover large quantities of dead fish in the 840-kilometre river that flows through the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany.
Swimming and fishing are prohibited
Why this sudden death of the fish occurred is a mystery until now.
Several fishermen discovered large quantities of dead fish in southwestern Poland in July. Since then, the same thing has happened in several places along the river that flows west into Germany.
There, the authorities forbade people from swimming and fishing in the river.
German authorities also criticized Poland for not warning the neighboring country about the large numbers of dead fish. They called for extensive investigations into what they call an “environmental catastrophe”.
Dead fish are now floating in Germany.
– We have dead fish everywhere.
That’s what Michael Tautenhan, Deputy Director of Germany’s Oder Valley National Park says France Press agency.
As he says ducks, birds and beavers in the river suffer.
– This is only the tip of the iceberg, says Tautenhahn.
To unravel the mystery of the fish’s death, the Polish authorities promised a reward of one million zlotys, about 2.1 million Norwegian kroner, for information that could help find out the cause.
Asking for help abroad
There are suspicions about the release of chemicals into the river, but this has not yet been proven.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said it could take many years before the river’s health is declared.
– It’s a huge disaster. According to the Associated Press, it is likely that huge amounts of chemicals were dumped into the river.
Several water tests were sent to the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.
Poland’s Minister of Climate and Environment, Anna Muskoa, said that so far no evidence of toxins has been found in the water. Polish scientists say they have found higher than normal levels of salt in the river.
severe drought in europe
The answer could also be a warmer climate: sweltering summers have led to water shortages and fish deaths in a number of rivers in Europe this summer.
– It’s not unique to this river system. Large-scale fish mortality has been reported from several quarters in Europe. Most likely, which I think is the cause, is the extreme heat with low water levels we’ve seen this summer.
This is what Eric Sandblom, professor of animal physiology at the University of Gothenburg, told Lactuelt, SVT.
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