The “best bathing conditions” on the shores of the Baltic Sea
The Vorpommern-Greifswald region has not seen any danger to bathing in the Baltic Sea. “Best bathing conditions still prevail on the shores of the Baltic Sea on the sunny island of Usedom,” explained District Manager Michael Sack (CDU). According to a statement, the region has not yet been affected by the situation in Oder.
However, the region still cautions against using water from the German part of the lake. Angling, fishing and water extraction are not recommended. The Schwerin state government also advises against bathing because, despite the lack of concrete information, harm to health cannot be ruled out. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s environment minister, Till Backhaus, has confirmed that no fish carcasses or unusual readings have been discovered in the German part of Lake Szczecin.
The Oder River flows into Lake Szczecin, through which the German-Polish border passes and connected to the Baltic Sea off Usedom. The estuary branches out widely and the lake, with an area of about 900 square kilometers, is twice the size of Lake Constance.
Researchers monitor toxic species of algae
In their search for the cause of the mysterious ecological disaster, the researchers also kept their eyes on a toxic species of algae that rapidly evolved in the river. Meanwhile, a microalgae named Prymnesium parvum has been identified, according to aquatic ecologist Christian Walter of the German News Agency. It is still not clear whether algal poison was the cause of fish deaths in the oder.
The researcher at the Berlin Leibniz Institute for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries confirmed whether it produces toxins in this case. Talk about a massive algal bloom at 200 micrograms per liter and over 100,000 cells per milliliter of water. However, the algae poison is harmless to humans.
As part of their investigation into the possible causes of fish deaths, the Polish Prosecutor’s Office has so far heard 228 witnesses. Deputy Attorney General Krzysztof Cerak said investigators also made a dozen field visits to different parts of the river. “It is not clear from previous activities the cause of the massive killing of fish,” he added.
The Brandenburg state government still assumes that fish mortality is not solely due to natural causes. “We can safely rule this out, otherwise the high pH values, increased oxygen content and much more won’t explain themselves,” said Prime Minister Dietmar Wojdick (SPD) in Beelitz.
At the same time, Woidke renewed his criticism of communication with the Polish side. “The fact is that six days before the fish died here, the fish died in Poland – and we were not told that.” So he is “deeply disappointed” by the Polish government. Because of international treaties, Poland was obligated to provide information at an early stage.
Not only in Germany politicians complained about the bad information policy of the Polish authorities. Resentment is also growing about the mismanagement of the PiS government in the country itself. The opposition, environmentalists and citizens accused her of passivity and arrogance of power.
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