The Town Council of Grundarfjörður on Snæfellsnes peninsula, West Iceland, is urging Minister for the Environment Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson to immediately authorize the closing of the fjord Kolgrafafjörður to prevent the death of masses of herring.
Last year, 50,000 tons of herring died in the fjord. It’s technically possible to prevent herring from swimming into the fjord but such an intervention would probably require an environmental impact assessment, visir.is reports.
“We could possibly initially close the fjord with landmass or rocks and then future measures would have to be considered. However, it is clear that closing the fjord must be considered from an environmental point of view,” stated Jón Helgason, managing director of the Iceland Road Administration’s construction division.
Jón revealed that extensive research is currently being carried out in the fjord to estimate the impact of the landfill and bridge that leads across it, to which the herring death has been contributed, and whether building another bridge could solve the problem, for example.
However, analyzing the data takes time and no measures are planned in the near future, Jón added.
In September 2012 Sigurður requested a contingency plan from the Environment Agency of Iceland because of the herring in Kolgrafafjörður. The agency intends to submit proposals for such a plan shortly.
“We would probably have to drive the herring off somewhere and the plan is about how that should be organized,” said Helgi Jenssen, consultant at the Environment Agency of Iceland when asked whether more herring can be buried in Kolgrafafjörður.
“There are no magic solutions,” he added.