Iceland Hit by Mass Herring Deaths
Blaming low oxygen levels
Iceland has launched an investigation into the mass death of tens of thousands of wild herring. One newspaper estimated the value of the dead fish to be almost $10 million. This is the second such occurrence in Iceland’s Kolgrafafjordur fjord this winter, raising concerns about the country’s fisheries. Johann Sigurjonsson, director of Iceland’s Marine Research Institute, believes that roughly an entire season’s worth of herring has been lost.
Researchers believe that low oxygen levels in the fjord, a result of overcrowding by the herring, may have caused the deaths. Government funding has been diverted toward monitoring the fisheries to determine what can be done to prevent more mass deaths.
Fortunately, we can take solace knowing that the fish will not have died in vain. Volunteers are already collecting the dead fish, which can be turned into feed for animals, and revenue from the sale will be donated to local schools.