The community of about 3000 people got its start as a trading post and fishing centre but grew tremendously once the Herring fishery started. This was initially a food fishery (1800s) and the Herring were salted, packed in barrels, and shipped out to Europe. Later this turned into an industrial fishery producing Herring oil and fish meal. Untold tonnes of Herring were caught in the rich waters around Iceland and processed in the plant here. However, it wasn't so long after that the fishery collapsed in the 1950s. It came back some in the 1960s but then went for good. Ironically, the tourism which now drives a thriving economy here in Siglufjordur is partially based on a display of the Herring fishing era in the town. This is done at the very interesting Herring Goldrush Museum. So the Herring continue to give but don't get much in return!
A few intrepid guests went out in our kayaks with our expert kayak guide Tessa. They had great views of puffins and other seabirds from water-level. Those who decided to hike along the spectacular cliffs of Grimsey were also afforded great views of puffins, fulmars, and other local birds.
|Atlantic Puffins off-duty on the cliff top (the mates are in the burrows)|
|This puffin was trying to land with nest material but the wind was too strong|
|A Northern Fulmar, relative of petrels and albatrosses|