Dubai: 12-metre, 15-tonne whale found dead in Jebel Ali

Dubai - A complete necropsy was conducted on the carcass, which was found by DP World.

By Staff Report

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Published: Mon 21 Jun 2021, 2:50 AM

A male Bryde’s whale, over 12 metres long and weighing 15 tonnes, has been found dead in Dubai.

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The whale was found dead in the Jebel Ali Canal by the DP World emergency team that moved the animal into the port.

The animal's body was then successfully recovered and transferred to an area where it was possible to conduct a safe transport operation and a complete autopsy.

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.

Its autopsy revealed no clear evidence of marine debris entanglement or ship strikes, nor was there any trace of food in the stomachs.

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 conducted. Valuable samples were collected, which will help to better understand the condition and ecology of this species in the region. This will ultimately support the conservation of these majestic marine creatures.

"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," said Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Chairperson of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority.

"The 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 Bryde’s whale is rare, but they are widespread in the Arabian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. 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 targets for the erstwhile Soviet Union's whaling operations, which were active until the mid-1960s, and recorded the killing of up to 849 whales. However, there are no estimates of the current status of this species and its numbers in the region.

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