White beach in Japan covered with fish bones (6 photos + 1 video)

6 February 2024

The beach in Hakodate, Hokkaido Prefecture, is white with fish bones. Last December, thousands of tons of dead fish washed ashore. Many linked the incident to the release of purified water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean.

About 80 percent of the fish killed were sardines and the rest were mackerel. They covered a 1.5 km area along the coast of Hakodate. Local authorities decided to destroy the fish by burning them, but did not expect that the bones would turn the beach into a kind of cemetery.

Japanese television showed a section of the beach that looked snow-covered from a distance. But when the camera zoomed in, it became clear that the snow was something eerie - a collection of fish bones.

The bones are difficult to remove because they are mixed with sand, which constantly washes onto the shore. Due to the low temperatures, there is no unpleasant odor in the area. However, local authorities will monitor the situation.

Experts believe that the mass death of sardines is caused by atypical migration. As temperatures cooled in the waters of eastern Hokkaido, schools of sardines and other small fish moved south, where they were hunted by dolphins. Fleeing from predators, they huddled in too massive groups, they did not have enough oxygen, and they suffocated.

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