Iceland Herring Catastrophe in Numbers Skip to content

Iceland Herring Catastrophe in Numbers

The export value of the 52,000 tons of dead herring currently rotting in Kolgrafafjörður on Snæfellsnes peninsula, West Iceland, is ISK 6.5 billion (USD 50.8 million, EUR 38 million)—a massive loss for the Icelandic fishing industry and national economy.


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

To put the natural catastrophe into perspective, this is the same amount as what it costs the Icelandic state to run the Icelandic police, Alþingi parliament, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, National Museum of Iceland and the President’s Office combined in one year.

seagulls_herring_kolgrafafj_psA smorgasbord for the seagulls. Photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.

If the average herring weighs 480 grams, the total number of dead herring in Kolgrafafjörður is 107,061,958, give or take three fish.

Click here to read more about the herring.

Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.

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