Posted by: The ocean update | May 9, 2016

RAK authorities search for dead whale in Gulf waters (United Arab Emirates)

dead-whale-UAEMay 9th, 2016 (Ahmed Shabaan). Circular has been issued to the 300 fishermen in Ras Al Khaimah to warn them of the dead whale.

The Ras Al Khaimah authorities have initiated intensive search operations to locate a giant dead whale spotted by two fishermen separately in the Arabian gulf on Saturday morning and evening.

The two Emirati fishermen, based in Ras Al Khaimah, reported sighting the large marine animal while fishing.

Official sources said they were trying to locate and fish out the dead whale for fear that it may cause accidents. “Such a dead animal is hard to see during night trips for low visibility and can damage or turn a fishing boat upside down.”

The two fishermen said they saw the dead whale within the regional waters of the emirate. “The last time we saw it was on Saturday evening some 27km off the coasts of Al Muairidh area to the east of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.”

Khalifa Saif Al Muhairi, chairman of the RAK Fishermen Society, said the dead whale poses a grave risk to fishermen.

A circular has been issued to the 300 fishermen in the emirate to warn them of the dead whale, he added. “Fishermen have also been urged to warn their non-member fellows.”

The fishermen have been asked to report the dead whale if they come across it to the RAK Fishermen Society or to the Coast Guards, Al Muhairi said.

“Any collision with the whale can be deadly as all fishing boats are small, made of fibreglass and can be easily broken and drowned.”

Colliding with a dead whale is just like a speeding car that rams into a wall, he elaborated. “The fishermen have widely shared the photos of the approximately three-metre long whale.”

The dead whales reported over time in the Arabian Gulf have mostly died after getting hit by a big ship or the sharp blades of a passing ship, Al Muhairi said.

Dr Saif Al Ghais, Director of the Environment Protection and Development Authority, RAK, said they have also been alerted about the dead whale. “It is most likely a Baleen whale which has some natural filters or kind of a ‘car radiator’ that purifies the water and food it has and pumps out the water.”

Saleh Hanbaluh, an Emirati fisherman of Al Rams area, said the whale would be washed up on the shore within 10 to 14 days unless fished out earlier.”

It’s likely to be washed up on the coasts of the Red Island, known as Al Jazeera Al Hamra or the coasts of Umm Al Quwain because of the regular direction of the north eastern winds.

“But this may only happen when it starts decomposing and becomes lighter.”

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