Litvínov, November 6, 2018 – Following the successful stocking of fries in the River Bílina in Most this spring, thirty children from the primary school in Hostomice have released an additional 450 kg fish into its waters. The Bílina has thus become home to young breams and roaches also this autumn. The project with an attractive programme for the primary school pupils was organised by Unipetrol in cooperation with fishers from Northern Bohemia and the Most Environmental Centre.
“We are really pleased that our programme of planting fish into the River Bílina has met with such positive response of all involved parties. This autumn’s planting has excited interest of children from the primary school in Hostomice to a great degree. Fishers have provided children not only with landing nets and fish tubs, but also told them interesting facts about fish related to the protection of living ecosystems of the Bílina,” said Pavel Sláma, Director of the EKO unit of Unipetrol.
Common breams and roaches – i.e. the original river fish species – have enlivened the autumn waters of the Bílina. Common breams create numerous populations in the middle and lower river sections, which, if living in suitable conditions, can become an attractive catch for anglers. Breams can even cope with a temporary lack of oxygen without suffering any harm. Cormorants will be the key factor if the breams survive this winter or not. If the number of breams does not go down, we can expect their natural reproduction in the River Bílina as soon as next year.
“Due to the losses caused by cormorants, we planted 182 kg fish in cooperation with Unipetrol this spring. The remaining 443 kg followed now in the autumn,“ explains Václav Jelínek, Treasurer of the North Bohemian Unit of the Czech Fishing Union, and adds: “Despite this year’s droughts, we have managed to catch 2,000 kg original fish species suitable for being planted into rivers. We will keep a certain amount until next spring, and the remainder will be planted as part of our cooperation with Unipetrol and used for regular stocking. However, we must currently cope with the consequences of the critical lack of water in fish tanks.”
A local environmental centre has prepared a host of attractive activities for the children. “We talked about how precious water is and that it should not be wasted and polluted. We were exploring environmental terms in a crossword puzzle. Children were also ‘fishing’ rubbish in a pond and then they had to sort it out correctly,” adds Martina Černá, Head of the Most Environmental Centre.
The Unipetrol Group has been cooperating with local fishers since 2010. The amount of fish planted into the River Bílina is getting close to 6,000 kg. The River Bílina is 83.6 km long from its spring in the Loučny Highlands of the Ore Mountains up to Ústí nad Labem where it empties into the River Elbe. It flows across the most industrialised part of the Czech Republic which is subjected to a high environmental burden. But the water pureness has substantially improved over the past thirty years and it keeps improving.
Besides the River Bílina, Unipetrol and fishers are also involved in a joint project caring for the River Elbe. Fish are being planted in Neratovice, near the Spolana site which is part of the Unipetrol Group, in collaboration with the local fisher organisation. Water pureness in the vicinity of the manufacturing plant is also demonstrated by regular monitoring of the number and condition of fish as well as by repeatedly organised fishing events. Furthermore, a project for the protection of peregrine falcon is under way on Spolana premises in cooperation with non-profit organisation ALKA Wildlife. And bee breeding has been launched on the site this year. Three hives with swarms of honeybees have been installed in cooperation with the Union of Czech Beekeepers. The quality and excellent taste of the honey produced has been acknowledged by an accredited laboratory of the Bee Research Institute. A high number of protected and threatened animal species who are highly sensitive to the quality of the environment is every indication that the production premises and their vicinity are clean and pure. For instance, the lagoon is one of the strongholds for Eurasian otters, common kingfishers and salmon trout.