Rare Deep-Sea Fish Found around Japan; Quake Concerns Denied


Tokyo, Feb. 9 (Jiji Press)--Oarfish, a rarely seen deep-sea species, has been detected one after another in waters around Japan this year, making some fearful of an earthquake striking the country in the near future.

A total of more than 10 oarfish have been found in Sea of Japan waters. U.S. news television network CNN has covered the news, citing a myth in Japan that the sighting of the fish is an earthquake precursor.

Still, experts called on people to keep calm, assuring that there is no direct correlation between the fish and earthquake.

Oarfish, which has a long and thin silvery body, is believed to live in waters some 200 meters under the sea in the northern Pacific and the Indian Ocean. The fish migrates to Sea of Japan waters on the Tsushima Current. Some oarfish could grow as long as 5.5 meters.

Details of oarfish are unknown as the fish, called "ryugu no tsukai" in Japan, or the messenger from the palace of sea god, is seldom caught in fishing nets.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press