According to the environmental foundation WWF, fish in the Oder are among the biggest losers of the year in the animal kingdom.
The fish die-off as a "man-made catastrophe" was also a severe setback for the reintroduction of the Baltic sturgeon in the Oder, the WWF announced in its year-end balance sheet on winners and losers in the animal world. Thousands of young fish have died. In addition, the WWF lists the reindeer, the white rhinoceros and the emperor penguin as losers of the year 2022.
Thousands of species are struggling with declining populations and growing threats: "The International Red List now lists more than 42,100 animal and plant species as threatened," it said. However, there are also examples that show that severely depleted stocks can recover thanks to protective measures: the WWF sees tigers in Nepal and humpback whales in Australia as the winners of the year.
An environmental disaster had led to a large fish kill in the Oder in August. Experts assume that high salinity in the river is a major reason, combined with low water, high temperatures and a toxic species of algae.