German minister decries ecological catastrophe in Oder River

German minister decries ecological catastrophe in Oder River

WARSAW, Poland — Germany’s environment minister said the mass die-off of fish in the Oder River is an ecological catastrophe and it isn’t clear yet how long it will take the river to recover.

Steffi Lemke spoke Sunday at a news conference alongside her Polish counterpart, Anna Moskwa, after a meeting in Szczecin, a Polish city on the Oder River.

The Oder flows from Czechia along the border of Poland and Germany, before it empties into the Baltic Sea. Mokswa stated that ten tons of dead fish had been removed from the Oder River last week. However, the reason for the massive die-off has yet to be determined.

“So far, at least 150 samples of water from the Oder River have been tested. All studies failed to confirm the existence of toxic substances. At the same time, we are testing fish. She stated that no mercury or other heavy elements were found in the samples.

She stated that some Oder water samples are being sent to foreign labs to test for 300 substances.

Both ministers stated that they are now focusing on minimizing the impact of the flooding to the river’s ecology.

Lemke suggested German authorities weren’t alerted fast enough when dead fish were found in Poland. He said that communication between the countries needs to be improved.

The post German minister denies ecological disaster in Oder River was first published on Associated Press .