The carcass of a whale has washed up on the shore at Killough, County Down.
The sighting of the dead whale was first reported on Friday morning by a member of the public, who saw the carcass near St John's Point lighthouse. According to the spokesman of Belfast Coastguard, the crew of a yacht had also seen the carcass floating off the shore on Thursday.
The Belfast Coastguard spokesman revealed that the carcass has been examined by experts from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), who believe it to be a minke whale that probably died about two weeks ago.
A team from Newcastle Coastguard Station also visited the scene to measure and photograph the dead whale.
"In the summer, minke whales move south from the west of Scotland into the Irish sea, where there is plenty of food for them." Ian Enlander, from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, told the Belfast Telegraph.
"They're often sighted off Islandmagee as they migrate toward the Isle of Man. It appears that this young male minke died after its tail became entangled in some discarded fishing gear. It just goes to show that the Irish Sea is not a totally safe environment for them. They can easily get entangled in fishing gear - and that means certain death."
Minke whales are often spotted in Irish Sea during the summer months. These creatures are at-risk species. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List considers minke whale as a species of least concern.
The carcass is expected to be removed at the start of next week by NIEA and local council. Meanwhile, members of the public have been advised to be at a safe distance from the carcass for their own safety.