Poland: 100 tons mysteriously died en masse in the Oder River

An inexplicable mystery still to experts has occurred in Poland, where authorities recovered 100 tons of dead fish from the Oder River, which travels from Germany to Poland

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Poland: 100 tons mysteriously died en masse in the Oder River

An inexplicable mystery still to experts has occurred in Poland, where authorities recovered 100 tons of dead fish from the Oder River, which travels from Germany to Poland. An environmental disaster is feared, but no cause has yet been found.

More than 500 firefighters have recovered the dead fish in Poland with the help of dams, boats, quads and even a drone. In germany, the authorities banned bathing and fishing in the Oder after the mass death of all these fish.

The cause of death remains uncertain and Poland has offered a reward of 1 million złoty or $ 220,000 to anyone who can help find those responsible for this environmental disaster. German officials accused the Polish authorities of not informing them of the death and were taken by surprise when the wave of lifeless fish appeared in sight.

In recent years the Oder has been known as a relatively clean river and 40 species of domestic fish are found in the stream. The first reports of mass fish deaths were made by locals and Polish fishermen as early as 28 July.

Poland: 100 tons mysteriously died en masse in the Oder River

In Poland, the government has also come under heavy criticism for failing to take swift action. On Friday, Morawiecki fired the CEO of Polish Waters, the state-owned company responsible for water management, and the head of the Environmental Protection Inspectorate in response to their Oder pollution management.

Karina Dörk, district administrator of the German Uckermark region, told: "We have to see how the bird population develops and what will happen to the raccoons and otters. It's a catastrophe that will stay with us for years." Monika Nowakowska-Drynda of the Polish National Fire Brigade Press Office said: "We have never had an operation like this on a river before." Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki explained: "Probably huge quantities of chemical waste have been dumped into the river with full awareness of the risk and the consequences." One hypothesis under consideration is that industrial wastewater with a high chlorine content has been dumped into the river, he said.

Water samples were sent to laboratories in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Britain in hopes of finding the cause.