The Mackerel Aren't Here Yet - The Reykjavik Grapevine

The Mackerel Aren’t Here Yet

Published June 9, 2015

Photos by
Richard Ling/Wikimedia Commons

The mackerel that were supposed to be in Icelandic waters at this time have yet to arrive, for reasons that could be linked to climate change.

RÚV reports that Icelandic waters have lately been very low in zooplankton, the staple diet of the mackerel. As a result, fishers are reporting they have not caught a single mackerel, despite the season having normally begun by now.

Ástþór Gíslason of the Marine Research Institute confirmed the low levels of zooplankton, which he attributes to sea temperatures of the south and west of Iceland being from 1 to 1.5 degrees colder than normal – enough to significantly impact many creatures in the food chain of Iceland’s waters.

In fact, the colder water temperatures could prevent the mackerel stocks from coming this far west altogether, avoiding even southern Greenland.

Researchers are still conducting more detailed measurements, with results to appear in the next week.

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