Dozens of dead cows have been found off the East China Coast where the search for a missing ship carrying dozens of crew - including two New Zealanders - is underway.
The Gulf Livestock 1 has been missing now for more than 48 hours off the coast of Japan with 43 people on board, including two New Zealanders and two Australians.
It left Napier's port with more than 5800 cattle on 14 August headed to the Port of Jingtang in Tangshan, China, and was expected to arrive 17 days from its departure.
The Japanese coastguard will search for four days for survivors amid another typhoon approaching the region.
Strong winds and torrential rains from Typhoon Masak, the first one, are hampering the search effort.
The ship's Filipino chief officer was rescued by Japan's Coast Guard and says the ship lost engine power, then capsized after being hit by a large wave.
In a statement, Australasian Global Exports has confirmed it employs four of the people on board.
The Melbourne-based export company said it was in contact with the families of the missing workers.
"Four of those people are treasured friends and work colleagues. The remaining people on board are engaged by the ship's owner.
"We are in full contact with the families of our four colleagues and are offering them all the support we can.
"Our thoughts and prayers are also with the ship's officers, crew and other personnel and their families."
Both Australia and New Zealand said they were providing consular assistance to the families of their crew members.
A Queensland vet is believed to be one of the two Australians missing onboard.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Winston Peters said not a lot was known at this stage, but it was a sad situation for the families.
He told Morning Report news of another typhoon only added to the worries.
"It's just adding to the problem and at this point in time it's building up, and we can't be certain at all about our capacity to put assets in there to do the job they're trying to do.
"This is a serious disaster with so many lives at stake, we hoped for something better but it's not a good situation at all."
Peters said he could not disclose any identifying information about the missing New Zealanders, but they had been in touch with the families.
"This is a matter of seeing whether they are rescuable, and ensuring the family knows first either way."