Golden algae possible cause of fish die-off in Oder river, minister says

WARSAW, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Oder River, plagued by a mass fish die-off since late July, could have been contaminated by rare microorganisms known as golden algae, a Polish government minister said on Thursday.

Anna Moskwa, minister of climate and environment, told the Polish Press Agency that the golden algae, a "rare and little-known species," were recently found in Oder river water samples, and that recent studies showed a bloom of such algae in the river.

She said persisting droughts and low water levels could have caused the algae bloom which could produce toxins fatal to fish and mussels, but harmless to humans.

Over 100 tons of dead fish have been found since late July in the Oder, Poland's second longest river.

How the algae entered the river remains unknown, according to the Polish Press Agency report.

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