German laboratories continue to research the cause of the massive fish kill in the Oder. Poland’s government speaks of false reports from Germany.
- Fish deaths in the Oder: Poland is boosting the oxygen supply in the water with pumps in West Pomerania
- Cause of fish deaths in the Oder still unknown: Poland’s government accuses Germany of spreading “fake news”.
- Environmental disaster in the Oder: Poisoned river killed endangered sturgeons.
- This news ticker about fish kills in the Oder is updated regularly.
Update from August 21, 7:49 p.m .: Research into the causes of fish deaths in the Oder continues to be difficult. The results of the current water sample tests are expected by the end of August, according to the Federal Environment Ministry. Accordingly, investigations are being carried out in Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The environmental disaster should also be on the agenda of the German-Polish environmental council on August 29, 2022 in Bad Saarow.
It is already known that mercury is not the trigger. “The latest results of the IGB and the University of Vienna confirm the suspicion that there was a mass development of toxic brackish water algae in the Oder, which could be responsible for the fish kills,” according to the German Ministry of the Environment. The fish kill could also have been caused by a combination of several factors.
Fish deaths in the Oder: Poland is boosting the oxygen supply in the water with pumps in West Pomerania
Meanwhile, Poland is apparently working on boosting the oxygen supply to the fish in the river. This was announced by the head of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship, Zbiegniew Bogucki, on Twitter on Sunday evening. There are already 17 pumps in the water for this purpose, and two more are to follow on Sunday.
On Saturday, Bogucki had already said that many fish would swim to the surface due to the lack of oxygen in the water and would be on the verge of suffocation. The politician posted a corresponding video. But at the same time he also gave hope: “Where we salvaged tons of dead fish a few days ago, living fish have now been sighted,” Bogucki wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
Extent of the environmental disaster in the Oder: 200 tons of dead fish collected
Update from August 21, 3:35 p.m .: The cause of the environmental disaster remains unclear on Sunday. But the extent is becoming increasingly clear: by Saturday around 200 tons of dead fish had been collected in Poland and Germany. The Polish fire brigade put the amount on Saturday at 158 tons. According to the Ministry of the Interior in Warsaw, more than 3,000 firefighters, more than 2,000 police officers and 1,300 soldiers were involved in salvaging the carcasses in Poland. Brandenburg had already reported at least 36 tons of dead fish in an earlier statement from the Ministry of the Environment.
Environmental disaster in the Oder: Poisoned river killed endangered sturgeons
Update from August 21, 2:55 p.m .: According to the WWF, the ecological disaster in the Oder has had an enormous impact on the resettlement of the sturgeon in the areas. The fish, which are threatened with extinction, are being resettled in Germany in the Elbe and in the Oder to preserve their species. Due to the toxic wave in the Oder, 20,000 young sturgeons died in a breeding facility of the Institute for Aquatic Ecology and Inland Fisheries, as the WWF reported on Sunday in Berlin.
“The dead young sturgeons are only a small part of the environmental drama,” explained Finn Viehberg from WWF Germany. However, they symbolized “how human carelessness leads to the loss of nature and biodiversity”. It must now be checked whether the food supply for the surviving or returning sturgeons is sufficient after the mass death of fish.
Poland’s government accuses Germany of “fake news”.
First report from August 21 : Warsaw/Frankfurt – The cause of the massive fish kill in the Oder is still not known. More than 36 tons of dead fish have now been pulled out of the Oder in Germany alone. The Berlin-Brandenburg state laboratory has now found elevated levels of pesticides in the Oder. The Polish government therefore speaks of false reports from Germany.
Fish deaths in the Oder: Poland contradicts findings from Germany
On Saturday (August 20), the Brandenburg Environment Ministry announced that high concentrations of a pesticide containing the active ingredient 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid had been found in the Oder. The active ingredient is used, for example, to combat weeds. However, the detected dose is not directly lethal to the fish. The Ministry of the Environment continues to assume that there are several causes for the environmental disaster.
Poland’s government contradicts these findings and accused Germany of spreading fake news. “Attention, another fake news is being spread in Germany!!! pesticides and herbicides. In Poland, the substance was tested and found to be below the limit of quantification, ie with no effects on fish or other animals and no link to fish kills,” Poland’s Environment Minister Anna Moskwa wrote on Twitter on Saturday evening.
Poland criticizes Germany: “Unjustified attack on agriculture”
The substances were not detected in fish, Moskva said in another tweet, “An unjustified attack on agriculture. First industry, now agriculture? What’s next?” Poland’s national conservative PiS government is not only under pressure domestically because Polish authorities were hesitant to react to the first indications of the fish kill.
Criticism also came from Germany that Polish authorities had not complied with the internationally agreed information chains. Representatives of the PiS repeatedly responded with anti-German tones – and with attacks on the Polish opposition. (sf/dpa)