Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 19 October 2019

Grey reef shark spotted at Ras Al Khaimah island resort

The shark was caught on camera swimming in the waters of Al Marjan Island

A grey reef shark was caught on camera swimming in the waters of Ras Al Khaimah.

The sea creature was recorded by Sian Townley on Al Marjan Island during the weekend.

The footage of the shark swimming along the breakwater was posted on Facebook and has since been widely shared.

The grey reef shark is one of the most common reef sharks in the Indo-Pacific and is often found venturing as far east as Easter Island, a remote volcanic island in Polynesia, and as far west as South Africa.

The shark species is also a regular visitor to the UAE.

A marine conservationist said that grey reef sharks generally do not pose a threat to humans.

“The grey reef shark is generally not a threat to humans. However like all sharks, they should be treated with respect,” said Natalie Banks, managing director of UAE conservation group, Azraq.

“This shark is a near threatened species but are known to be in UAE waters. They are most often seen in shallow water near drop-offs.”

Ms Banks said that grey reef sharks are usually around two meters long, but can grow up to 2.5 meters.

“They were the first shark species known to display the stereotypical behaviour warning if they feel threatened; characteristically dropped pectoral fins, and an exaggerated side to side swimming motion,” she said.

Ms Banks said that the sighting of sharks is a sign of a healthy marine environment as they play a vital role in keeping oceans healthy.

“We should feel elated rather than panic whenever we see sharks swimming close to our shores as this indicates a healthy marine environment,” she said.

Last year, Al Bahar beach in Abu Dhabi was closed to swimmers after a whale shark was spotted in the Kasr Al Amwaj area of the emirate.

Updated: April 9, 2019 08:02 AM