Releasing fish into the Bílina River takes place twice a year. It is one of the popular events among schoolchildren in the Most district. North Bohemian anglers could rely on assistance from children this year, too. Together, they released new life into the waters of the Bílina in the form of one hundred kilograms of newly released fish. More than ten tonnes of fish worth CZK 1 million have been released into the Bílina since 2010.
The event, which took place next to the relocated Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary in Most, was organised by the ORLEN Unipetrol Group together with the Czech Fishing Union and the Ecological Centre in Most. Many side events, including the popular sausage roasting, were prepared for the children.
“For 12 years, the release of fish into the Bílina has been one of our key projects with which we seek to contribute towards protecting the environment in our region,” says Katarzyna Woś, Vice-chairwoman of the ORLEN Unipetrol Group’s Board of Directors, about the project and adds: “In collaboration with the Czech Fishing Union and the Ecological Centre in Most, we engage local schoolchildren in the event to make their instruction more diverse and enrich it with interesting experiences directly in nature. In this way, children can naturally develop a positive relationship to nature and become aware of the importance of environmental protection for humans and all other living creatures.”
Even though the Bílina runs through the most industrial area of the Czech Republic, the cleanliness of its water has significantly improved in recent decades. Maintaining the aquatic ecosystem through regular fish releases plays a significant role, too. At this spring’s fish release, approximately one hundred kilograms of various fish species, for which the Bílina represents a natural environment, found their new home in the river. Pupils in the first stage of basic education attending primary schools in Most could gain insight into the secrets of these and other aquatic animals’ lives during the fish-release event in the vicinity of the relocated church in Most.
The Ecological Centre in Most prepared a rich programme for them. “Apart from an attractive lecture on the interesting aspects of the life of fish and the enormous significance of the River Bílina for our region, children could take part in many entertaining activities, ranging from games and quizzes through the actual release of the fish into the river to the final open-fire sausage roasting,” says Martina Černá, head of the Ecological Centre Most, when describing the unforgettable morning on the river bank. “The fish release sparked a huge interest in the children. We are now looking forward to the autumn round for which anglers are preparing an even higher volume of fish.”
“We appreciate the cooperation with ORLEN Unipetrol group, which takes place in more areas. Because of the previous strong pollution, the Bílina was long considered dead. Yet, together, we have successfully returned life into its waters, which makes us very happy,” says Jan Skalský, spokesman of the Czech Fishing Union, North Bohemia Association. “We will continue these activities. Fish is released into the Bílina twice a year – in the spring and the autumn. We released approximately one hundred kilograms of fish in the first stage this year. They mainly contained whitefish, including common roach, common rudd, common bream and silver bream. In the autumn, we will support the fish population in the Bílina with hundreds of kilograms more fish and even greater species diversity.”
Since 2010, ORLEN Unipetrol has been supporting North Bohemian anglers and releasing fish into the Bílina River within its corporate social responsibility strategy. It is one of the priorities in its plan for sustainable business. The Bílina is 83.6 km long and flows from its source in the Ore Mountains’ Loučná Highlands to its confluence with the Elbe in Ústí nad Labem. Apart from the Bílina, ORLEN Unipetrol also releases fish near its Spolana Neratovice production plant. Another activity in environmental protection in the vicinity of ORLEN Unipetrol Group’s production plants is the collaboration with the ALKA Wildlife association on the project of nesting peregrine falcons. Thanks to this partnership, the peregrine falcon population has increased by more than 30 of these birds of prey since 2010.
The ORLEN Unipetrol Group is the largest refining and petrochemical company in the Czech Republic. It focuses on crude oil processing and the production, distribution and sale of vehicle fuels and petrochemical products – particularly plastics and fertilisers. It belongs among the critical players in the Czech and Central European markets in all these areas. The ORLEN Unipetrol Group encompasses refineries and production plants in Litvínov and Kralupy nad Vltavou, Paramo, with its Mogul brand in Pardubice and Kolín, Spolana Neratovice, and two research centres in Litvínov and Brno. Unipetrol also includes a network of Benzina ORLEN filling stations in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. With 426 filling stations, Benzina ORLEN is the largest chain in the Czech Republic. ORLEN Unipetrol employs almost 5,000 people and is one of the largest companies in the Czech Republic. In 2005, ORLEN Unipetrol became a member of the ORLEN Group, the largest crude oil processor in Central Europe. The ORLEN Unipetrol is also active in corporate social responsibility. Therefore, it pays equal attention to initiatives focusing on cultivating and supporting sustainable development, education, local communities, and the environment.
Contact: Pavel Kaidl, spokesperson, telephone: +420 736 502 520, email: firstname.lastname@example.org