Hundreds of thousands of dead anchovies have washed up on the Kujukuri-hama coast of Chiba Prefecture, densely covering about 600 meters of a sandy beach, a local government official said Friday.
Locals notified the Oamishirasato town office of the dead fish Wednesday afternoon, the official said by phone.
Each anchovy measures around 10 cm to 15 cm. It was not immediately known what caused the fish to die, said Michio Ishida at Sanbu Regional Development Center of the Chiba Prefectural Government.
“We hear that schools (of anchovies) sometimes wash onto shore after being chased by a large fish. But we don’t know the cause this time,” Ishida said.
“It seems lots of (anchovies) are swimming offshore now because we saw many birds flying over the sea,” he added.
Because of the stench, the center had already buried most of the fish in the sand by Friday afternoon.