This year, after a one-year break, the traditional fish release into the River Bílina took place in the children’s presence. This time, it was fourth graders from the Most primary school. They were joined by Jakub Petružálek, a Czech national-team player and a passionate angler who has been playing for several seasons for the HC VERVA Litvínov. The project of releasing fish into the Bílina is supported by ORLEN Unipetrol. It seeks to spark the schoolchildren’s interest in the environment. The total volume of fish released into the important North Bohemian waterway is close to ten tonnes. Their value is almost CZK 1 million.
“The release of fish into the Bílina is always a great experience. Therefore, we are delighted that after a one-year break due to the coronavirus pandemic, children could experience it again. After many months of anti-pandemic measures, it is a great boost for the body and soul, further intensified by the presence of Jakub Petružálek from the HC VERVA Litvínov,” says Katarzyna Woś, Vice-Chair of the ORLEN Unipetrol Group’s Board of Directors and Chair of the ORLEN Unipetrol Foundation’s board. She adds: “In this way, we are trying to spark children’s interest in the environment. We introduce them to the remarkable world of aquatic animals and the entire ecosystem linked with waterways through games. We are already looking forward to this autumn when we release more fish into the river.”
“We have released a total of 170 kilograms of fish into the River Bílina. They included native species: common bream, silver bream, common roach, common rudd, gudgeon, common perch, northern pike, two catfishes and two eels for diversification. With ORLEN Unipetrol, we release fish twice a year. One can see it on the anglers’ catch. The fish population is restored, and anglers are quite successful in their fishing,” says Jan Skalský, a spokesman for the Czech Fishing Union, North Bohemian unit.
The event held near the relocated Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary in Most was also supported by the HC VERVA Litvínov ice-hockey club, which has many fans among children in the Most area. Apart from the entertaining and educational programme organised by the Most environmental centre and the actual fish release, the pupils from the 18th primary school in Most were treated to their great surprise with the appearance of the excellent ice-hockey player and a passionate angler, Jakub Petružálek. He is also a former NHL and KHL player and played in the Finnish and Swedish leagues and scored for the national team. “I am happy that children from primary schools are getting involved with the angling world and with nature. I think it is only good for them,” says Jakub Petružálek, whose sports career is closely connected with the HC VERVA Litvínov club. He also revealed that he had recently renewed his fishing permit and fished mainly at ponds in his leisure time.
Pupils from the 4.A class at the Most primary school have learned various interesting facts from anglers and employees of the Most environmental centre about fish life in Czech rivers and the River Bílina flowing below the Hněvín Castle. Children now know what individual fish feed on and what life stages they need to go through for a fertilised fish egg to turn into a fish ready to be released into the river.
ORLEN Unipetrol supports North Bohemian anglers within its strategy for sustainable business and corporate social responsibility. Its priority is the permanent development of the company and its relationships with local communities in education, social issues, and the environment. Since 2010, CSR activities have also included a joint project with the Czech Fishing Union. Their objectives are to revitalise the River Bílina and return rich aquatic life into its waters. ORLEN Unipetrol also collaborates with anglers on the River Elbe, where fish is released near the Spolana Neratovice production plant.
The ORLEN Unipetrol Group is the largest refinery and petrochemical company in the Czech Republic. It focuses on crude oil processing and on the production, distribution and sale of vehicle fuels and petrochemical products – particularly plastics and fertilisers. In all these areas, it belongs among the critical players on the Czech and Central European market. 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 420 filling stations, Benzina ORLEN is the largest chain in the Czech Republic. Since its entry in 2019 to Slovakia, Benzina ORLEN has been one of the fastest-growing chains and currently has 20 stations in its network. ORLEN Unipetrol employs more than 4,800 people. In 2005, ORLEN Unipetrol became a member of the ORLEN Group, the largest crude-oil processor in Central Europe. In addition to its business development, ORLEN Unipetrol is proud to be a socially responsible corporation. Therefore, it pays an equal amount of attention to initiatives, focusing on the cultivation and support of sustainable development, education, local communities, and the environment.
Contact: Pavel Kaidl, spokesman, telephone: +420 736 502 520, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org