“Environmental disaster” in the Scheldt: French company causes the death of thousands of fish

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Wildlife

“Environmental disaster” in the Scheldt: French company causes the death of thousands of fish

27 April 2020
News
In a press release, Wallonia regrets that pollution which occurred on April 9 near Cambrai in northern France has “never been reported by France to Belgian authorities“, in violation of an international alert procedure.

The pollution occurred in the Scheldt, a river that crosses France, Belgium and the Netherlands. A total of 100,000 m3 of blackish liquid, mainly organic matter, was released as a result of the rupture of a dyke at the Tereos sugar factory in Thun-Saint-Martin, which had been retaining water used for washing beets. According to the French Office for Biodiversity, these  waters “quickly saturated the aquatic environment“, first in nearby streams before reaching the Scheldt.

Wallonia, which is home to 35km or 10% of the river's route, estimates the amount of dead fish at tens of thousands of tonnes.

We had to wait until April 20 to receive the alert from a Belgian resident worried about “the abnormally high presence of dead fish on the surface of the river". "Wallonia, for its part, immediately warned Flanders and the Netherlands of the impending pollution", and now France is invited to "clarify this neglect", continues the press release.