Are we standing at the brink of a global herring meltdown? As our friends at Hypervocal pointed out this morning, the AP is reporting tens of thousands of tons of herring have been found floating dead in the Kolgrafafjordur fjord of western Iceland – the second case of mass herring death in as many months.
Is this a fiendish Icelandic plot to deny us our salty snacks? Actually, no. The herrings’ deaths are the result of bridge and landfill construction across the fjord, which has resulted in the de-oxygenating of the fishes’ habitat. The result? Between twenty-five and thirty thousand tons of dead herring in December alone. With a going rate of nearly ten-million dollars per ten-thousand tons of fish, this represents something in the ballpark of thirty million dollars of Icelandic exports lost in a single month.
Economic concerns aside, with herring supplies taking a major blow, can a Mad Max future, in which gangs of S&M leather-clad bikers rove the countryside looking for pickled treasures, really be far behind?