Poland consulting foreign labs over Oder River fish die-off

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WARSAW, Poland — Poland is turning to overseas laboratories in an attempt to solve the mystery of the mass fish deaths in the Oder River, authorities said on Tuesday, while the government pledged will toughen the law against those who pollute the environment.

Experts in Poland and Germany, which share river flows downstream, describe the deaths first observed last month as the worst natural disaster in the two countries in many years. five.

Poland’s Minister of Climate and Environment Anna Moskwa said on Twitter on Tuesday that samples had been sent to laboratories in Czechia, where Oder began its process, and also to the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Oder’s country.

The Polish government, accused of being too slow to react to the problem, on Tuesday announced it would track down those responsible and was discussing a significant increase in penalties for polluters. .

“We are determined to make everyone and every institution responsible for this incident bear the consequences,” said Michal Dworczyk, chief of staff to the Polish prime minister.

For most of its time, the river flows through Poland.

Dead fish in the Oder were first noticed by fishermen in southwestern Poland in late July. Polish firefighters say they have removed nearly 100 tonnes of dead fish so far, while German authorities downstream have placed oil barriers in the river to prevent the spread of rotting fish.

Some environmental experts say climate change may be to blame as low river levels in the summer bring fish closer to potentially toxic substances on the riverbed.

Golinska from the ministry of climate and environment said that toxic substances as well as adverse changes to the environment are being analyzed as potential causes.

A marine expert at the Polish Academy of Sciences, Jacek Piskozub, said it would be worse if climate change was behind the disaster because it was much harder to deal with than any random pollution case.

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