Eruption Begun on Reykjanes Peninsula

reykjanes eruption 2023

A volcanic eruption began on the Reykjanes peninsula today at 4:40 PM.

Smoke is rising from the slopes of Litli Hrútur and magma has breached the surface, according to nature hazard specialist Kristín Elísa Guðmundsdóttir with the Icelandic Met Office.

Due to the current placement of the webcam, the eruption site is not currently visible. People are asked to stay away from the eruption site until response teams have arrived.

This is a developing situation. This article will be updated.

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Extensive Hybridization Between Farmed and Wild Fish Stocks

aquaculture farm iceland

A recent report from the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute indicates that hybridization between local fish stocks and farmed fish may be more extensive than previously thought.

The report, titled Hybridization between wild Icelandic salmon and farmed salmon of Norwegian origin, studied salmon fry from 89 rivers throughout Iceland, with a focus on rivers in proximity to aquaculture areas. A total of 6,348 salmon samples were analyzed.

Read More: More Fish Escape from Aquaculture Pens in Westfjords

To meet international demand for the popular fish, fish farming has become an increasingly lucrative industry in Iceland. In 2015, some 8,000 tonnes of salmon were farmed in coastal pens. By 2022, that number has risen to 45,000 tonnes.

Recent reports have also shown that significant numbers of the farmed fish, which are of a different stock than the wild Icelandic salmon, have escaped their pens. The regularity and size of these breaches have led to fears of disease, parasites, and hybridization. According to report, “hybridization of farmed salmon with wild populations can alter local genetic composition, lead to changes in life-history traits and possibly even population declines.”

 

The study identified samples attributed to hybridization from the years 2014 to 2019. A total of 133 first-generation hybrids (offspring of farmed and wild salmon) were identified in 17 rivers (2.1% of the samples, within 18% of the rivers). Older hybrids were found in 141 individuals in 26 rivers (2.2% of the samples, within 29% of the rivers).

Read More: Damning Report on Iceland’s Fish Farming Industry

First-generation hybrids were more common in the Westfjords than in the Eastfjords, which is consistent with salmon farming starting later in the Eastfjords and being less extensive.

Hybridization was generally detected within a distance of less than 50 km from the farming areas, but some hybrids were found as far as 250 km away.

See also: Environmental Associations Call for Ban on Marine Fish Farming

“This extensive study confirms the importance of further research. We need to examine the exchange of generations of hybrids, their extent, and the causes of the dispersion of older hybrids,” stated Guðni Guðbergsson, Freshwater and Salmon Farming Division Manager.

The report can be read here in its entirety.

 

 

 

 

 

Icelandair Must Reimburse Passenger for Legroom

Keflavík airport Icelandair

In a June decision by the Norwegian Transportation Authority, Icelandair is obligated to reimburse a passenger for legroom that he did not receive. RÚV reports.

The passenger in question booked a flight from Reykjavík to Oslo in September of last year. He lodged a complaint with the Norwegian Transportation Authority when, due to technical reasons, Icelandair had to switch aircraft. In the following rearrangement of seats, the passenger did not receive the legroom that he had paid some 2,300 ISK [$17, €16] for.

Read more: Icelandair’s Airbus Order Largest Transaction in Airline’s History

Worldwide, airlines generate significant revenue from the sale of similar add-ons, known as ancillaries, including extra legroom, preferred seating, and priority boarding. The practice of “un-bundling” services from the ticket price has become increasingly common in the airline industry. In 2011, global ancillary revenue in the airline industry accounted for 32.5 billion USD [€29.7 billion]. In 2022, that figure had risen to 102.8 billion USD [€93.8 billion], a 216% increase over the course of a decade.

The passenger demanded that Icelandair reimburse him the amount, but the airline refused, stating that these were non-refundable privileges according to the terms and conditions.

However, in the recent Norwegian ruling, it was stated that this provision applies only if the passenger changes their mind. In this case, the airline changed the aircraft, and the passenger could not be held responsible.

Although airlines are not required to abide by the ruling, most comply with the decisions of the body.

M5.2 Earthquake Rocks Capital Area

reykjanes peninsula keilir

An M5.2 earthquake was recorded at 10:23 pm last night, July 9. It was the largest earthquake yet since seismic activity increased on the Reykjanes peninsula some six days ago.

The quake could be felt throughout the capital region and beyond, with even Ísafjörður residents reporting to have felt the shock.

reykjanes volcano
Met Office Iceland

As of this morning, an additional 630 earthquakes have been recorded. All of them have been significantly smaller than the large quake felt last night.

Böðvar Sveinsson, scientist at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, stated to Vísir: “It’s a bit strange that it hasn’t erupted yet considering its proximity to the surface.” Reports over the weekend indicated that the magma has travelled quickly to the surface, now at a depth of only 500 metres.

“But we still expect an eruption,” stated Böðvar, noting that it is impossible to predict with certainty when the eruption might occur.

Experts currently expect the eruption to occur in the region between Fagradalsfjall and Mt. Keilir on the Reykjanes peninsula, pictured above.

More signs of an eruption

A geothermal borehole on the Reykjanes peninsula also began overflowing over the weekend.

Its owner, Ísleifur Árnason, reported to RÚV that it had behaved similarly before the 2021 and 2022 Reykjanes eruption.

“In the past two eruptions, water started to pour from it, maybe the day before the eruption occurred,” he said.

“Now the same thing is happening again. The temperature in the borehole has risen from about 9°C [48°F] to nearly 40°C [104°F] since the earthquake swarm began on Tuesday. The water surface has also risen since then, and on Thursday, a small amount of water started to overflow from the 800-meter-deep borehole. There are clear signs that an eruption is imminent.”

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Three Dead in East Iceland Plane Crash

fatal accident Iceland

Three died last night, July 9, in a plane crash southwest of Egilsstaðir.

First responders in East Iceland were called out last night after following reports of a missing plane, reported to be a Cessna 172. The 4-seater aircraft sent out a distress call around 5:01pm. In addition to ICESAR and a coastguard helicopter, Vísir reports that a helicopter from a tourist travel service also joined the search. Nearly all East Iceland first responders were called out.

The wreckage was seen around 8:00pm last night. Initially spotted by an Icelandair flight en route to Egilsstaðir, the crash site was confirmed by the tourism helicopter.

The three, including the pilot and two passengers, were pronounced dead at the scene.

East Iceland police have stated that the case is still in its early stages and they will investigate the matter further with the proper authorities.