Sharjah: A dead Bryde’s whale has been found in Dubai waters, with a length of over 12 metres.
Thanks to the cooperation between the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah (EPAA), and Zayed University, a complete necropsy of the whale carcass was successfully conducted, and valuable samples were collected, which will help to better understand the condition and ecology of this species in the region, and ultimately support the conservation of these creatures.
Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Chairperson of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority, said: “This work on the autopsy of the Bryde’s whale was part of a programme launched by the Environment and Protected Areas Authority named Sharjah Stranding Response Programme. The purpose of the necropsy is to identify the causes of death and for other scientific research purposes. Bryde’s whales have smooth bodies with dark grey skin on top, and white skin on the bottom, and they are found only in the Indo-Pacific region.”
The whale was found dead in the Jebel Ali Canal by the DP World emergency team that moved the animal into the port and transferred to an area where it was possible to conduct a safe transport operation and a complete autopsy.
The whale was 12.38 metres long and weighed 15 tonnes was successfully identified. The investigation revealed no clear evidence of marine debris entanglement or ship strikes, nor was any trace of food in the stomachs. A number of parasites were observed in several organs, and the collected samples will be used to check the condition of the various organs, toxicological parameters, in addition to the animal’s genetic profile. Rare species
The Bryde’s whale is rare, but they are widespread in the Arabian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, and two types of Bryde’s whales have currently been identified, with one of them possibly containing two different subspecies. Historically, Bryde’s whales in the Arab region were targeted in the Soviet era whaling operations, which were active until the mid-1960s, and recorded the killing of up to 849 whales. There is no estimate of the current status of this species and its numbers in the region and in the waters of the UAE.
The Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) in Sharjah seeks to protect the environment and its natural reserves, wildlife and their biodiversity through scientific studies and research. The authority publishes educational awareness material, implements policies for environmental awareness and programmes, and launches specialised campaigns in the field of environmental awareness and education.