Thousands of fish have been found dead in the River Oder that separates Poland and Germany. Despite weeks of research, specialists from both countries have not been able to pinpoint the exact cause. Scientists suspect that the water appears to have been contaminated with a chemical that has created elevated salt levels. Golden algae grew more abundantly as a result, and the fish were destroyed by the toxins they released. The water quality was then further lowered by the decaying bodies. They claim that a scorching summer and low river levels may have worsened a lethal chemical chain reaction. However, they have not yet located the initial contaminant. Andrzej Kapusta of the Inland Fisheries Institute expressed concern that it might happen again, especially if the initial source of the pollution is still unknown.

Locals in a small marina first saw fish dying and the water changing in March. When it happened once more in June, the owner started her own investigation. She concludes that “someone dumped chemicals into the port.” Approximately 300 unregistered outflow pipes have been found, and investigators are looking into nearly 60 of them in relation to the fish deaths. A pump is working desperately in an effort to introduce oxygen into the water while workmen near Szczecin, Poland, remove enormous dead carp and catfish from the river. The river continues its journey into a lagoon and the Baltic Sea from this point. Although it is believed that the volume of water will dilute the toxins, there are worries that what some locals refer to as a “wave of poison” may continue its deadly path downstream.