According to Jens Christian Holst of Norway’s Institute of Marine Research, many factors could justify the phenomenon (Photo: IMR/Stock File/FIS)
20 tonnes of dead herring mysteriousy wash up on a beach
Thursday, January 05, 2012, 03:20 (GMT + 9)
An estimated 20 tonnes of dead herring washed up on the northern coast of Norway on New Year’s Eve – only to mysteriously disappear earlier this week.
It is theorized that coastal tidewaters may have been what moved the massive heap of smelt back into the North Sea, All Voices reports.
Jens Christian Holst of Norway’s Institute of Marine Research said that even though the extent of the death and size of the school of herring were unusual, many factors exist that could justify the freak phenomenon.
Locals had started worrying about rotting fish and planning on how they could possibly clean up the estimated 20 tonnes of dead herring on the beach in Kvaenes, near Tromsoe, north of the Arctic Circle. But before they could begin, the fish disappeared, Associated Press reports.
Some of the fish that remained on the beach were taken to the institute laboratory for testing for toxic poisoning and disease.
Other possible factors include a powerful current from an offshore storm in which the herring may have been trapped by tidal waters after predatory species such as coalfish chased them towards the shore, or a mix of both.
Yet another factor that would explain this remarkable event is that the herring became trapped in shallow waters and suffered the effects of freshwater from a river that flows into the bay.
By Natalia Real