Researchers are considering low oxygen levels in the fjord to be to blame for this second round of mass herring death, which saw 1.25 billion ISK worth of the fish wash ashore in the small community. Herring tend to amass in large numbers during winter months and the oxygen levels in the shallow fjord could not support their population. This is the second such occurrence to take place in the span of months, with an even greater quantity of herring washing up dead in December.
“We regard this as a serious event,” said Jóhann Sigurjónsson, the institute’s Director to the Huffington Post. “We are investigating; we would like to find out if it is necessary to try to step in somehow.”
To make the best of a bad situation, school children in Kolgrafafjörður have been diligently collecting the dead fish to sell them to local mink farms as animal feed. Proceeds raised from the sales are going toward supporting school activities in the town.
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