Khor Fakkan: A 16-metre-long Humback Whale was found dead off the coast of this town near the international container port, an official confirmed on Monday.
The carcass was spotted by a local fisherman who reported it to the Coast Guard around 6am.
Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Chairperson of Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah, told Gulf News that they are working to tow the whale to the shore.
The whale may been migrating from the open ocean towards the Horn of Africa, said authorities, adding that the whale bore marks indicating it may have been hit by a ship’s propeller that eventually killed it.
The waves and sea currents had apparently brought the carcass into UAE's waters, towards the Khor Fakkan port area.
The Coast Guard then informed Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah and the local municipality.
The authority now plans to put the whale’s skeleton on display in a Kalba protected areas facility which will be inaugurated next year.
The centre will also take DNA samples of the whale for research purposes.
“We rarely get whales as big as this one on our coast,” said Al Suwaidi, adding “we think displaying it in one place in the emirate is good for children and others to educate them about marine life,” she said.
Khor Fakkan Municipality staff used a loader to tow the giant creature ashore and eventually move it to the Environment and Protected Areas premises.
Different species of whales — the world’s largest mammals — have been spotted in the Gulf of Oman, located on the UAE’s eastern coast.
These include Blue Whales, the largest animal ever known, Fin Whales, Sperm Whales, and Humpback Whales.
In recent months, a growing number of Killer Whales — also known as orca — have been spotted off Oman’s Musandam Peninsula.