Keeping Geese Away from Runway a Challenging Job

The domestic airport in Egilsstaðir, northeast Iceland, receives passengers from all over the country, and the world, but some are more welcome than others. Geese are a seasonal presence at the airport, RÚV reports, and as they pose a risk to planes, people, and themselves, the task of shooing them away is an important one.

Honking back

Geese flock to this area by the thousands each spring, and have likely done so for centuries before this airport was ever here. However, flights need to depart from the airport in the morning, and before they can, employees of the airport move up and down the runway, scaring geese away with the honking of horns.

To the east of the runway is a field, where geese will often assemble to feed. Walking dogs in this area is banned, as they might scare the geese at an inopportune moment, i.e., the take-off or landing of a plane.

Many tools in the toolbox

Honking horns is not the only weapon in the airport’s arsenal against the geese. Laser pointers also keep the geese at bay, effectively enough, as well as high-pitched whistles that geese find unpleasant and keep them at bay.

But there is also the concern about younglings, as geese are prone to build their nests near the runway. For this, fences are used, or sometimes the eggs themselves are moved.

Nonetheless, geese and airplanes alike use very similar flight paths in this part of Iceland, and others. It is likely that keeping geese away from their larger, mechanical cousins will be an ongoing job for as long as airplanes exist in Iceland.

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Lava Has Breached Defensive Wall

reykjanes eruption, april 2024.

Some lava has breached one of the earthen walls built to protect Grindavík, on the Reykjanes peninsula, RÚV reports. There is not, however, any immediate danger to Grindavík or other human settlements from this lava.

“Cold lava”

The breach was noticed yesterday at a wall north of Grindavík. It is moving very slowly, and is not a great deal of lava, but is being monitored continuously, just like the rest of the eruption area.

Atli Gunnarsson, inspector general of the Suðurnes Police, told reporters, “This is a small amount of lava that just rolled over the wall, cold lava that was pushed over the brim. So this is really insignificant and we’re not worried about it right now.”

Not enough time for a warning

That said, there have been indications of yet another eruption on the way soon. People have been reminded to stay away from the eruption site, especially as ground surface rising indicates accumulating magma, which may lead to a second fissure at or near the location of the ongoing eruption.

Benedikt Ófeigsson of the Icelandic Met Office told reporters that if another eruption comes, it will likely be so sudden that there would not be enough time to warn people to avoid the area.

What a new eruption could mean for defensive walls which, in some parts, are already holding back a considerable amount of lava remains to be seen.

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Björk Encourages Icelanders to Fight Fishing Bill

Artist Björk Guðmundsdóttir has entered the fray in support of a petition calling upon Parliament to vote against a controversial fishing bill. She announced this support on X (formerly Twitter).

The bill in question

The bill, already submitted to Parliament by Minister of Fisheries Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir of the Left-Green Party, would change the law regarding operation licenses for fishing farms in Iceland. The specific change would be to make these licenses indefinite; as it is, they run for 16 years, with an option to extend them.

If passed, current license holders would have control over one of Iceland’s most valuable resources for possibly far longer than before. The bill has been met with opposition from numerous groups, including the Federation of Icelandic River Owners and the Icelandic Wildlife Fund.

The bill has also been a point of contention in the current presidential race, as it was crafted while Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who is running for president, was still chair of the Left-Greens. This has prompted another candidate, Steinunn Ólína Kristjánsdóttir, to question whether Katrín could be impartial about signing, or vetoing, this particular bill, should it become law. She also started the petition.

“Do you want to give the rich our fjords?”

Posting on X, Björk wrote, “Do you want to give the rich our fjords? If not, sign [the petition].”

Björk then quotes an article from RÚV that outlines how the stated purpose of the bill is to increase sustainability, but that the Icelandic Wildlife Fund argues that the bill, if made law, would work against that purpose.

She then quotes the mission statement of the petition, which reads in part: “The bill authorizes polluting industrial production with fish farming in the most sensitive areas of Iceland’s coasts under little supervision and puts the interests of license holders first at the expense of the public interest and nature of the country.”

Fish farming is a matter close to Björk’s heart; she has also recently joined a list of plaintiffs in another fish farming case.

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Man Walks 100 Kilometres for Suicide Prevention

A firefighter and rescue worker for the Capital Area Fire Department walked 100 kilometres, from Akranes to Reykjavík, while pulling a sled that initially weighed 100kg. This event was done to raise awareness and funds for the suicide prevention group Pieta.

Pulling the weight

Bergur Vilhjálmsson told Vísir the concept behind the event:

The sled was initially weighted down with 100kg. At the same time, he wore a vest upon which were affixed some of the symptoms of, or conditions that may lead to, someone in danger of taking their own life; melancholy, depression, anxiety, worry, suicidal ideation, guilt, trauma, violence and addiction. Every ten kilometres, ten kg was removed from the sled, and a symptom removed from his vest.

The goal reached

Bergur reached Reykjavík at about 2:OO PM Saturday afternoon. A group of people joined him for his last few kilometres, and the last weight was removed from the sled when he reached his destination at last in a joyful, tearful celebration.

If you live in Iceland, you can donate to Pieta through the kennitala 410416-0690 and the account number 0301-26-041041.

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