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06 June 2023

Dubai officials rescue lost juvenile whale shark


The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MoCCAE, collaborated with Dubai Police and the Marine Environment Protection Association, in carrying out a rescue operation to return to the sea a juvenile whale shark that lost its way in Dubai Creek, near Al Jaddaf area.

On receiving a notification about the sighting of the three-metre long fish in Dubai Creek, a team of expert divers and employees from the ministry’s biodiversity department reached the scene and managed to get the juvenile whale shark back into the Arabian Gulf.

Hiba Al Shehhi, Acting Director of the Biodiversity Department at the ministry, said, "I thank everyone who was involved in the rescue operation. The collaboration among the teams was exemplary and saved the scared baby shark."

She pointed out that earlier this year, the ministry launched the National Plan of Action, NPOA, for the Conservation and Management of Sharks 2018-2021, which presents concrete steps to conserve and sustain the 72-known species of sharks that consider the UAE home.

Coinciding with the launch of the plan, she added, the ministry issued the UAE Shark Assessment Report, the first national overview of shark research and protective measures to safeguard shark populations in the UAE. The document offers a valuable database to support the execution of the NPOA.

Lieutenant Colonel Rashid Thani Al Ayel, Head of the Maritime Security Section at the Port Police Station, Dubai Police, who oversaw the rescue operation, applauded the efforts of the teams at the ministry and the Marine Environment Protection Association.

"Under the directives of Major-General Pilot Ahmed Mohammed bin Thani, Acting Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, we participated in this rescue operation. Transporting the juvenile whale shark across a distance of 13 kilometres from Dubai Creek to the Arabian Gulf was a highly delicate and strenuous process," he said.