Second Wave of Herring Deaths in West Iceland

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Second Wave of Herring Deaths in West Iceland

Herring worth ISK billions in exports are floating dead in Kolgrafafjörður, a small fjord on the northern part of Snæfellsnes peninsula, West Iceland, for the second time in two months.

kolgrafafjordur_dead_hearring_02_psThe dead herring in Kolgrafafjörður. Photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.

The Marine Research Institute of Iceland visited the fjord yesterday to gather information on the scale of the incident.

Between 25,000 and 30,000 tons of herring died in December due to lack of oxygen in the fjord thought to have been caused by a landfill and bridge constructed across the fjord in December 2004.

Experts believe that a similar amount of fish may have died this time.

The current export value of 10,000 tons of herring amounts to ISK 1.25 billion (USD 9.8 million, EUR 7.2 million), according to Morgunblaðið.

School children in the nearby village of Grundarfjörður collected between 25 and 30 tons of the dead herring this morning for sale as animal fodder. Through the collection, the children raised an estimated ISK 200,000-ISK 240,000 for use in sports and other activities, mbl.is reports.

Biologist Róbert Arnar Stefánsson estimates that 7,000 tons of herring is laying on the shore and much more on the bottom of the fjord.

The Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources and the Minister of Industry and Innovation agreed yesterday to new funding to research and monitor the situation in Kolgrafafjörður, ruv.is reports.

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