Whale shark spotted near Abu Dhabi beach

A whale shark was seen swimming near an Abu Dhabi beach recently and gave sun-seekers a bit of a shock

Knowledge story, The Knowledge

Back in August Dubai visitors and residents got a sock when a whale shark was spotted swimming in the Marina.

And recently it was Abu Dhabi’s turn according to reports.

Apparently those swimming in the Al Raha Beach area were caught by surprise when one of the creatures was spotted moving along the channel at Amwaj.

The exiting occasion took place at the end of last month, perhaps giving some people who were unsure about what the harmless mammal was, quite the fright just in time for Halloween.

Those who wanted to encounter the awesome shark close up were urged not to try as it’s so large it could cause damage to a human.

“As planktivorous fish, whale sharks are considered harmless to humans and usually enter marinas or shallow waters for several days at a time, possibly to feed, before continuing on their migration route,” The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) said.

The National’s report added how the EAD explained these sightings have been known to happen at this time of year in the region.

“Whale sharks are found in tropical and warm temperate seas around the world,” they continued. “The Arabian Gulf is rich in nutrients with frequent phytoplankton and zooplankton blooms, which are the main food source for the whale sharks and therefore are likely to be attracting them to this area.

“Over the past decade, many whale shark sightings have been reported in Abu Dhabi between the months of June and October, including in Port Zayed, Al Dhabiya, Ghantoot, Emirates Palace Beach and Al Bateen Harbour. Furthermore, they are frequently sighted in all the other emirates.”

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