Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 August 2020

Bryde’s whales spotted off Abu Dhabi coast

The large mammals were seen emerging from the water to breathe

A Bryde's whale spotted in the Upper Gulf of Thailand and similar to the whales seen off Abu Dhabi. EPA 
A Bryde's whale spotted in the Upper Gulf of Thailand and similar to the whales seen off Abu Dhabi. EPA 

A rare sighting of Bryde’s Whales were recorded off the coast of Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi Environment Agency posted videos of the whales on its Instagram account showing the large mammal emerging from the water to breathe.

The agency did not specify the number of whales sighted but they are often seen in pairs and can gather at feeding sites in pods of 20.

The dark grey whale is common in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. It scoops huge amounts of small fish and crustaceans into its mouth and filters them through its baleen fringe.

“The whale is a filter feeder and does not have teeth,” said the agency. “They grow up to 15.6m length and weigh 20.3 tonnes and are thought to live between 50 to 70 years.”

Bryde’s whales can spend five to 15 minutes underwater before surfacing to breathe.

The Arabian Gulf has been identified as a possible migration route for these large mammals.

Strandings of this species have occurred in recent years in the UAE. Last year, a carcass of a 12-metre Bryde’s whale was found floating near Sir Abu Nair island off the Sharjah coast. Officials believed the mammal was struck by a vessel.

Updated: January 10, 2020 02:46 PM

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