Poison cannot be ruled out as the reason of a major fish die-off in the Oder River, but studies have so far shown no evidence that poisonous substances were to blame, according to Polish Environment Minister Anna Moskwa on Sunday.

Tons of dead fish have been discovered in the Oder River, which flows through Germany and Poland, since late July. Both governments have stated that a dangerous substance is to blame, but neither has identified what it is.

“As of today,” Moskwa said after meeting with her German colleague and other German and Polish officials, “none of these (water) tests have confirmed the presence of toxic substances.”

“At the same time, we are conducting tests on fish. We have finished testing the fish for mercury and heavy metals. Neither mercury nor heavy metals were found in the collected samples,” she added.

Moskwa stated that samples are already being tested for pesticides, and that 300 additional compounds would be examined for in the next hours.

“We still do not exclude a variant of the toxic substances…so we are interested in the prompt identification of the perpetrator… We are checking entities which run business and industrial activity along the river,” Moskwa added.

According to the German and Polish administrations, the mass die-off is a serious environmental disaster, and the river could take years to recover.

Source: Reuters

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