KITAKYUSHU -- A whale carcass was washed ashore after being found drifting in the Kanmon Strait between this Fukuoka Prefecture city and the Yamaguchi Prefecture city of Shimonoseki in southwestern Japan on Oct. 14, local authorities said.
The Japan Coast Guard received an emergency call at around 3 p.m. on the day, reporting a whale carcass drifting in the strait. The Moji Coast Guard Office and other authorities dispatched three patrol ships and found a carcass measuring about 8 meters in length. It drifted ashore at the breakwater in Dokai Bay in Kitakyushu's Wakamatsu Ward at around 8:15 p.m. The Wakamatsu Coast Guard Office secured the carcass with rope, and the Kitakyushu Municipal Government is considering how to salvage and dispose of it.
According to the city government, the carcass seems to be a species of baleen whales. A city official said it's rare for carcasses of large marine creatures to be washed ashore in Dokai Bay. The carcass is decaying, and there is apparently a danger that it will expand and explode due to the gas that has accumulated inside. The city will recover it after Oct. 16.
(Japanese original by Akiho Narimatsu, Kyushu News Department)