Berlin, Europe Brief News – Concerns have been raised after huge numbers of dead fish have washed up on the banks of the Oder River, between Germany and Poland.
Conservationists have called for an investigation into the mass fish die-off, with volunteers in Germany and Poland to organise clean-up operations.
Piotr Nieznanski, the conservation policy director at WWF Poland, said it appears that a toxic chemical was released into the water by industry, while low water levels caused by the drought gripping Europe have made conditions far more dangerous for the fish.
“A tragic event is happening along the Oder River,” he said. “There is no transparent information about what is going on.”
Nieznanski urged government authorities to investigate the mass die-off in what is Poland’s second-longest river.
People living along the river have been warned not to swim in the water or touch it.
Poland’s state water management body said drought and high temperatures mean that even small amounts of pollution can trigger an ecological disaster in its vital waterways, though it said the source of the pollution has not yet been identified.
The water level along Germany’s Rhine River is at risk of falling so low that it could become difficult to transport goods — including critical energy items like coal and gas.
Yet, Poland and Germany are not the only European countries facing acute environmental problems caused by weather extremes.