Something fishy? Giant tuna washes up on Scots beach
Two-metre long Atlantic bluefin tuna was found following strong winds and rough seas.
A giant two-metre long Atlantic bluefin tuna has been found washed up on a beach in Orkney.
The creature was found by a local on Sunday morning on Bea Sand on Sanday, following strong winds and rough seas caused by Storm Deirdre.
It is the third time an Atlantic bluefin tuna has been found on Scots beaches, as the species makes a return to British waters.
The fish is native to the western and eastern Atlantic, as well as the Mediterranean.
Atlantic bluefin tuna can exceed 2000lb and are a close relative of the other two bluefin tuna species - the Pacific bluefin tuna and the southern bluefin tuna.
Emma Neave-Webb, Sanday Ranger, said: "It was exactly two metres long, a pretty impressive beast.
"At that size, it's going to be pretty fully grown
"The weather was awful over the weekend and ideal conditions for something to wash up.
"The fish looked pretty fresh, so I think the cause of death was natural causes.
"They're gradually moving more northwards and have been found in the English channel, and are reappearing in Scottish waters as well.
Discussing the local reaction on the Sanday, which has a population of around 500 people, Emma said: "Everybody's been amazed, it was a bit of a tourist attraction yesterday.
"It's been the talk of the island for the day, but we're hoping to go back to it tomorrow to weigh it and dissect it for any signs of plastic pollution."
In October, a six-foot-long, 245lb bluefin tuna was found washed up at a beach in Culross, Fife, and last month another was found on Tolsta beach, Isle of Lewis.
John Hourston, founder of the Blue Planet Society, said: "It's the third case of a bluefin tuna washing up in Scottish waters this year.
"Bluefin tuna have only recently returned to British waters since around 2013, but it's extremely rare for one to be washed up in Orkney.
"It's becoming increasingly common for bluefin tuna to be found in British waters as they are coming back every summer now.
"They used to be common in British shores around the 1920s and 30s, but people aren't sure why they disappeared.
"Perhaps over fishing of their food source like herring or possibly fluctuations in ocean temperatures, but climate change is seeing greater number return to British waters.
"There was a storm on Sanday on Sunday that could've contributed or it could've been fishing by-catch, but apparently there was no marks on it."