Fear Of Another Mass Death Of Herring - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Fear Of Another Mass Death Of Herring

Published November 25, 2013

Tons of herring are now trapped in Kolgrafarfjörður, a small bay on the north edge of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, where tons of entrapped herring were killed last winter.

There are concerns that mass death of the fish will occur for the third time but as reported, this previously happened in February and December of last year.

Speculations are that the herring is seeking colder sea to dwell in during the winter, but dies when the oxygen level in the bay drops.

Þorsteinn Sigurðsson, specialist at Iceland’s Marine Research Institute, told RÚV that attempts will be made on Monday or Tuesday to scare the herring away with killer whale sound effects.

“We have recordings from the Dolphin Research Centre in Húsavík of the sounds of killer whales eating herring. We’ll play these recordings underwater. If it works and it stirs the herring we should be able to use this method to herd it out of the bay,” Þorsteinn said.

52,000 tons of herring were killed in Kolgrafarfjörður last winter.

Boats are busy fishing in the bay but they can only manage to catch a small fraction of the herring trapped in the bay. The fishermen estimate there could be between 100 and 200 thousand tons of herring there now.

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