The chairman of the environmental committee in the Brandenburg state parliament, Wolfgang Roick (SPD), considers the consequences of the fish kill in the Oder to be necessary – on the German and Polish side. “Unfortunately, what we don’t have and that’s one point we want to change is an overview or a register of the quantities that are introduced in Poland – even with permission,” said Roick on Tuesday in Potsdam before a meeting of the environmental committee.
“So far, what we know is that a retention basin can definitely be the cause, it has been opened.”
In the past few weeks, dead fish have been discovered and collected in large numbers on the Polish and German sides of the Oder. By Saturday, around 200 tons of fish carcasses had been collected in Poland and Germany. The cause of the fish kill is not yet clear. However, a toxic alga was found in water samples in both Poland and Germany.
In connection with the fish kill, Poland’s water authority claims to have discovered 282 sewage discharges without a current water permit. It is currently being clarified from where these lines to the Oder were laid and who they belong to, said the designated new head of the water authority, Krzysztof Wos, on Tuesday. The police had already been informed in 57 cases.
The head of the environmental committee also sees possible deficits on the German side. It’s about checking “whether there needs to be another type of surveillance,” said Roick of the German Press Agency. The question is whether “there was not enough staff” at one point or another in the State Environment Agency. From his point of view, the authority may have reacted too slowly.
According to the Ministry of the Environment, the State Office had noticed changes in Frankfurt (Oder) from August 7th to 8th, among other things in the oxygen content, but the authority could not assume that the fish were dying from the values alone. Warning and message chains are now to be checked.
Brandenburg’s Environment Minister Axel Vogel (Greens) wanted to report to the Environment Committee on Tuesday about the findings so far. In addition, experts should have their say, including representatives of the Leibniz Institute for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Berlin. Institute experts see clear signs that a toxic alga is to blame for the death of the fish.
On the German side, the massive death of fish in the Oder became known on August 9th. In Poland, on the other hand, there were already first indications at the end of July. The German authorities accuse the Polish side of informing them too late, making it difficult to find the cause. After the environmental disaster became known, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki had fired the previous head of the water authority and the head of the environmental authority.