Mass herring deaths puzzle Norway

2012-01-03 09:13
Oslo - Several tons of dead herring that carpeted a beach in northern Norway have puzzled researchers and local residents, media reported on Monday.

Local resident Jan-Petter Jorgensen, who inspected the beach at Kvaenes in Nordreisa with his dog at the weekend, estimated there were several tons of fish.

Jorgensen hoped the dead fish would soon be cleared away, fearing that they could start to rot.

Possible causes for the mass death included the suggestion that the school of herring had been trapped by tidal waters after predatory fish - such as coalfish - chased them towards the shoreline.

Another theory was that the fish had been washed ashore during a recent storm, or trapped in shallow waters and affected by freshwater from a river that flows into the bay.

Jens Christian Holst of the Institute of Marine Research said several factors could have come together, but hoped they would be able to conduct tests on dead fish to see if they had died of a disease.

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