Posted by: The ocean update | November 30, 2015

Chinese fishermen find 3.9-tonne dead mammal at sea and decide to bring it home by truck

Washed up : The whale was found washed up eight nautical miles off the coast of Rizhao in China's eastern Shandong province

Washed up : The whale was found washed up eight nautical miles off the coast of Rizhao in China’s eastern Shandong province

November 30th, 2015. Local fishermen got more than they bargained for when they discovered a dead whale washed up eight miles off the coast of Rizhao in Shandong province on November 28.

The whale carcass which measures 8.5 metres (28 feet) long and weighs 3.9 tonnes was spotted floating on the Yellow Sea by locals, the People’s Daily Online reports. 

The city Bureau of Ocean and Fishery were called in to identify the whale with local fishermen bringing the animal back to shore on their boat.

Dai Yushan is the captain of the fishing boat when his team spotted the whale some eight nautical miles from the dock. It was dead already.

Dai told Qilu Evening News : ‘My colleagues and I went to the sea at around 3am. At about half past four, we found this whale about eight nautical miles off the dock.’

Mr Dai and his fellow fishermen then loaded the carcass onto a truck to be transported to a freezing plant where it would be examined further. It’s unclear what they will now do with the animal.

A crane was used to lift the whale onto the truck.

According to NetEase, the fishermen believe that the animal was probably a member of the baleen whale group (Ed Sibylline : it’s a Minke whale). Baleen whales can also be referred to as whalebone whales.

It’s thought the whale probably died after getting accidentally tangled in fishing nets.

Cases such as these are very rare.

The last big whale beaching story was back in January 2011 after a pilot whale became stuck off the coast of Rizhao. Local fishermen had tried to save the whale however they couldn’t lift it off the beach.

Later on in November 2011, a fisherman in Fujian province found an endangered 7 tonne gray whale. It was collected by authorities and properly disposed of. This was done to prevent an incident like the catfish beaching in Guangdong in 2007 where locals rushed to cut off bits of the carcass to sell.

The whale weighed 3.9 tonnes and was 8.5 metres in length.

The whale weighed 3.9 tonnes and was 8.5 metres in length.

The dead animal was spotted by locals floating on the shores of the Yellow Sea, just off the coastal town of Rizhao

The dead animal was spotted by locals floating on the shores of the Yellow Sea, just off the coastal town of Rizhao

The carcass was taken aboard a ship and then handed to officials who will examine it further

The carcass was taken aboard a ship and then handed to officials who will examine it further

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