Revealed: how baby whale shark was rescued from Dubai Creek

Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Dubai Police and the Marine Environment Protection Association team up to rescue whale shark in Dubai Creek
Revealed: how baby whale shark was rescued from Dubai Creek
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By Sam Bridge
Thu 02 Aug 2018 03:13 PM

The UAE's Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) collaborated with Dubai Police and the Marine Environment Protection Association to rescue a juvenile whale shark that lost its way in Dubai Creek.

On receiving a notification about the sighting of the 3-meter long fish in Dubai Creek, a team of expert divers and employees from MOCCAE’s Biodiversity Department reached the scene.

They developed a rescue plan with minimal risks, factoring in the shark’s state of fear and anxiety, a statement said, adding that divers took five hours to get the juvenile whale shark on to a stretcher that extended below the water between the two boats and extracted it from the Creek, before moving it slowly back into the Arabian Gulf.   

Hiba Al Shehhi, acting director of the Biodiversity Department at MOCCAE, said: “I thank everyone who was involved in the rescue operation. The collaboration among the teams was exemplary and saved the scared baby shark.”

Lieutenant Colonel Rashid Thani Al Ayel, head of the Maritime Security Section at the Port Police Station, Dubai Police, who oversaw the rescue operation, added: “Transporting the juvenile whale shark across a distance of 13km from Dubai Creek to the Arabian Gulf was a highly delicate and strenuous process, and everyone involved was incredibly patient. Seeing the shark safely back in its natural habitat was worth all the trouble.”

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