Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 26 April 2019

Dead stingrays discovered on Dubai beach

Around 20 adult and baby rays were found near Burj Al Arab

One of the stingrays found on Monday morning at Sunset Beach in Dubai. The animals were believed to have been caught up in illegal fishing nets.
One of the stingrays found on Monday morning at Sunset Beach in Dubai. The animals were believed to have been caught up in illegal fishing nets.

Up to 20 stingrays have been found dead on a beach in Dubai.

Marine experts called to the scene at Sunset Beach on Monday said the fish were most likely dumped by fishermen who were after a different species.

Beachgoers discovered the adult and baby rays, some of which were still alive, while on their early morning walks.

Many of the fish had marks on their necks suggesting they may have been caught in nets prior to being dumped.

Natalie Banks, managing director of Dubai-based marine conservation organisation Azraq, said she spoke to people near the beach beside the Burj Al Arab.

“They told me that this has been going on for years,” said Ms Banks.

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Read more:

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The National reported in February how the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment was rolling out a new campaign to tackle the issues of over-fishing and illegal netting in UAE waters.

Fishermen using drift nets is a particular problem as the nets often become lost, entangling marine life as they are swept along by ocean currents.

The stingrays found in Dubai were discovered by personal trainer Claire Falconer.

She posted videos and images of the rays to her Instagram account, prompting concern by members of the public.

“There was a mixture of adult stingrays and babies who were struggling for life,” she said.

“I tried to put some of them back in the water but most of them died.

“The fish had a lot of blood on them which looked like it had been caused by nets before they were thrown back into the sea.”

Ms Falconer said she was informed by a Dubai Municipality official, who was part of the subsequent clean-up, that anyone found dumping fish faced possible prosecution.

Updated: March 5, 2019 12:45 PM

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