Will Bombing Save The Herring? - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Will Bombing Save The Herring?

Published November 28, 2013

Depth charge will be used in an attempt to scare the herring in Kolgrafarfjörður away in order to avert yet another mass death of the fish.

The National Commissioner’s civil defence department has taken over the operations in the bay but the Coast Guard will execute the bombings on Thursday, Mbl.is reports.

As reported, tons of herring are trapped in the bay and authorities fear that they will be killed there, causing extensive pollution.

After abandoning attempts to scare the herring out of the bay with recordings of killer whales played underwater, a decision was made on Wednesday to use depth charge to scare the fish out of the bay, back to the ocean.

Depth charge was commonly used before when herring was being caught using purse seining, to round the fish up and propel it into the nets. This method has now been banned in most countries.

However, Vísir.is reports that using depth charge might actually kill the herring, quoting a 1989 research carried out by Tromsø University in Norway.

According to that, the shock waves following the explosions cause internal bleeding in the fish, killing it one or two days later, after it’s moved far from the area where the depth charges are used.

After these findings, Norwegian authorities banned the use of depth charges to interfere with herring’s behaviour.

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