Rolling Stones Fail to Scare Herring Out of Icelandic Waters

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By Jack Moore | December 11, 2013 4:46 AM EST

Researchers learnt that you can't always get what you want when their attempts to scare herring out of an Icelandic fjord by playing famous Rolling Stones tracks backfired.

The fjord in Kolgrafafjörður, West Iceland, hosts huge shoals of herring but in 2012 50,000 tons of the fish were killed due to a lack of oxygen caused by landfill pollution.

When the fjord filled up again with herring this year, the researchers came up with innovative sonic solutions to try and enourage the fish to swim away, one being the playing of 'Brown Sugar' and 'Satisfaction'.

Star-Oddi, a company who specialise in collecting data on aquatic environments and animal behaviour, has been carrying out experiments such as playing different sounds in the fjord in order to scare the fish back out to sea, hopefully saving many from dying. 

Sigmar Guðbjörnsson, who works for the company, told Icelandic website mbl.is that they had played The Rolling Stones in a light-hearted manner as opposed to seriously believing that it would pay dividends. 

"They were perhaps not as afraid of The Rolling Stones as of other sounds," Sigmar said, adding that other songs or musicians had not yet been tested. 

Other experiments conducted have included the use of explosives, low frequency noises and the sound of killer whales. All attempts have so far failed in deterring the herring away from the fjord.

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