The cause of the fish kill in the Oder is still unclear, but Poland is looking to the future. The controversial expansion for shipping should be continued, says the Polish Deputy Foreign Minister. It makes economic sense - and the river is already recovering.
Even after the environmental catastrophe in the Oder, Poland wants to hold on to the controversial expansion of the river for shipping. "We are determined to improve the navigability of the Oder," Poland's Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek told the editorial network Germany (RND). "There are not only economic but also strategic reasons for this. Transport routes are a very important aspect of safety in today's world. Of course, however, we will take into account that the Oder is not just a transport route, but also a fragile ecosystem, and we will fully consider the environmental aspects ."
Szynkowski vel Sek admitted that the Polish authorities had made mistakes in dealing with the death of fish in the Oder, but he also criticized Germany. "At the end of July, the authorities in Lower Silesia registered the first dead fish. The problem did not seem big enough for them to pass on the information. Prime Minister Morawiecki has already fired two heads of authorities for this reason. But the German authorities have not passed on all the information they had either ", he said. In the meantime, one is "in constant contact at all levels".
The river is already recovering, but it will take some time, Szynkowski vel Sek told RND. "We will also have to use new fish. And the government has provided the equivalent of 50 million euros to build a tighter warning system."
The mass death of fish in the border river Oder became known on the German side on August 9th. Finding the cause is difficult. Scientists say a toxic species of algae could be a factor in fish kills. Various other substances are also being investigated. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania announced on Friday that no abnormalities had been found when examining samples in the German part of the Szczecin Lagoon, into which the Oder flows.
(This article was first published on Monday, August 22, 2022.)