Icelandic volcano merchandise and living fish

In the latest news from the volcano clean-up in Iceland, it has come to light that less damage has been done to fish farms than had been feared; and that Grimsvotn tourist merchandise is already flying off the shelves just a week after the volcano blew.

The area around the town of Kirkjubaejarklaustur is famous for its Arctic charr production. It was initially feared that the volcanic ash fall in the area would have a very serious impact on fish smolt nurseries. In the event only 600 kilogrammes of young fish died from a total of 40 tonnes owned by the company Klausturbleikja. A similar mortality rate was found at Tunga; one of the oldest fish nurseries in Iceland. There, two year-old charr in open tanks outside the nursery building are said to be in good health, despite the fact that their water is still grey, RUV reports. 650,000 smolts inside the factory are also unharmed. Both companies credit good filtration and good staff for their good fortune.

In Reykjavik, enterprising souvenir shops are already stocking Grimsvotn merchandise, including T-shirts and ash from the eruption.

Although the Grimsvotn eruption has yet to be declared over, tourists are said to be enjoying the new products on offer.

Last year’s Eyjafjallajokull eruption quickly spawned a variety of sales opportunities, such as clothing, ash and even perfume. After just a week, Grimsvotn is already getting in on the act.

“I talked to people last Wednesday who were buying one of the T-shirts because their flights were delayed and they decided to buy some directly connected merchandise and look on the bright side — make good of their situation,” says Ragnhildur Holm Sigurdardottir, a staff member at Woolcano.

She says that visitors are also enthusiastic about the volcanic ash; amazed to be able to own such very new material.

More information on the Grimsvotn eruption can be found on the following websites:

Volcano-related advice and news for travellers in Iceland

The University of Iceland Institute of Earth Sciences

The Icelandic Met Office

The Police Civil Defence Agency

(Picture: fisheries.is)