Whale shark comes visiting Dubai Marina... again [video]


Even as the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo celebrates its Shark Week Exhibit, a curious little whale shark decided to shirk the spotlight as it came calling into Dubai Marina, skimming below the radar.

However, an eagle-eyed resident of the Cayan Tower spotted the gentle marine giant on Tuesday morning as it was swimming back out to sea.

Speaking with Emirates 24|7, Dutch national Pim Bonenkamp said he spotted the whale shark from the balcony of his apartment on the 13th floor.

He said: “I was having breakfast on the balcony around 10 minutes shy of 7am, when I spotted a big fish moving just under the surface of the water in Dubai Marina.

“Taking a closer look, I instantly recognised the grey shade and the wide beak as that belonging to a whale shark. Although, I was too far away to spot the white spots that are a signature of the species.”

The 41-year-old certified rescue diver says this is not the first time he has spotted a whale shark.

“I was lucky enough to see a whale shark up close while diving off the coast of the Damaniyat Islands in Oman nearly one-and-a-half years ago,” he revealed. “They are such elegant creatures to witness during a dive.”

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the whale shark is considered the biggest fish and shark in the world.

These marine inhabitants are generally found roaming alone across the oceans around the globe,  however, "large numbers of whale sharks often gather in areas with abundant plankton food," it says.

At full length, they can reach around 40 feet, with an enormous mouth (nearly five feet wide).

This is not the first time a whale shark has been spotted in Dubai Marina, with last August’s sighting creating quite a buzz on social media, along with sparking a parody account on Twitter, @dxbmarinashark

Bonenkamp further revealed this wasn’t the first time he has spotted endangered marine life in Dubai Marina.

He said: “On June 15 this year, I spotted a Stingray fever in nearly the same spot. I counted nearly a 100 of them in the area.”

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