Team shortlist10 Nov 2015 AT 12:41 PM

Multiple shark sightings at Abu Dhabi beach

Residents warned not to swim too close
Team shortlist10 Nov 2015 AT 12:41 PM
Multiple shark sightings at Abu Dhabi beach
© 2007 AFP

Remember the uproar caused by Marina Shark in Dubai? It even had its own Twitter account. While there have been similar shark sightings in Abu Dhabi over the past week, it hasn’t caused quite the same stir.

Swimmers at Al Raha beach spotted a baby whale shark, which was seen between Amwaj and Al Raha on a number of occasions. The good news? Whale Sharks are considered harmless to humans. Although the little guy doesn’t pose an immediate threat, officials have urged residents not to swim near it.

If the shark hasn’t already disappeared back into the deep waters of the Arabian Gulf, it should do soon. A few months ago we spoke to some shark experts to find out more about shark sightings in the UAE.

“They are regularly encountered throughout the Gulf region by people in the summer months,” says David Robinson, Chief Scientist of Sharkwatch Arabia. “The occurrence of whale sharks in marinas and ports on the west coast of the UAE is a common occurrence and this month alone there have been three individual whale sharks pass through Dubai Marina; this particular shark got a lot of attention as it swam close to the side where people could capture images.”

Those of you who are clued up on your marine knowledge may know that whale sharks usually live in very cold deep water. But according to David, it appears that the UAE variety have adapted. “Whale sharks in the region certainly tolerate the warmest temperatures I know of, but their continued presence in coastal waters suggest they are fine with the water temp.”

So before you freak out, just remember – the recent sighting is of a shark believed to be the size of a large fish, whale sharks aren’t dangerous to humans, and it’ll find its way home soon. 

Comments