Deterioration of Lagarfljót Was Foreseen

13.3.2013
Words by Catharine Fulton
Guðni Guðbergsson, director of the institute of Freshwater Fisheries, told Morgunútvarpino this morning that the deterioration of the fish population and ecosystem in Lagarfljót  was expected, RÚV reports.

As was reported yesterday, sediment running off of the holding basin created by the construction of the Kárahnjúkar dam in East Iceland has greatly impacted the ecosystem of Lagarfljót, one of Iceland’s largest lakes. The result has been fewer and smaller fish, and, consequently, a decrease in birdlife in the area.

“When it comes to developing hydroelectricity we feel that the aquatic environment is forgotten. People see what is on the land, they see the vegetation, they see land. But when it comes to the ecology of lakes people don’t tend to see very clearly,” said Guðni. “Still, this was anticipated and the environmental impact report, which was submitted before construction began had brought this issue forward.”

Whether this vast deterioration was foreseen or not, Jósef Valgarð Þorvaldsson, chairman of the Fishing Association of Lagarfljót is seeking compensation from those responsible for the destruction of the lake and its wildlife.

Landsvirkjun, Iceland’s largest electricity supplier and operators of the power station at Kárahnjúkar, has released part of a report on the impact of the massive dam on Lagarfljót and the surrounding environment, and the full report will be released soon.

“When the report comes we will evaluate what can be done,” said Jósef. “After all that has happened there must be some benefits, but what form they will be in I cannot say right now.”

Related:

Lagarfljót Ecosystem Continues To Deteriorate

Famous Lake Decaying

Investigation into Previous Environmental Ministry Demanded

Kárahnjúkar Impact Report To Be investigated



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