In Pictures: Lack Of Human Activity Brings Rare Dolphins Closer To Dubai Coast Line

by Vaishnavi Venkataraman
In Pictures: Lack Of Human Activity Brings Rare Dolphins Closer To Dubai Coast Line

For the first time ever since 2013, a pod of rare dolphins were spotted along the Dubai coastline. Sailors were in for a pleasant surprise when they spotted a pod of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins near Burj Al Arab on Sunday.

Credits: The National

The bottlenose dolphins have a shark-like dorsal fin and are dark grey, with a slender body. The sighting was reported to the UAE Dolphin Project, which monitors marine wildlife along the country’s coasts. Over 229 dolphins were spotted in the Dubai shore between 2012 and 2013.

Conservationists said that the lack of human activity have encouraged the marine life to head out and explore. “Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins are familiar to the UAE waters but the interesting point of this sighting is that they have been reported so close to shore. No noise, no boats and no construction work has allowed these beautiful creatures to visit the shores and enjoy the quietness,” said project founder Ada Natoli.

What Else?

Earlier this month, a rare breed of dolphin was spotted off Fujairah Coast. A rare albino Risso’s dolphin was spotted in the Fujairah waters. A video showing about 2,000 adults and juveniles leaping in and out of the water was shot on Monday. The dolphin was sighted about 35 kilometres off Fujairah’s southern coastline. Footage of the spectacular event was sent to the Fujairah Whale Project who posted it on their Facebook page.

The Fujairah Whale Project said that the video depicts a mixed group of adults and juveniles and is the first time a pod of this size has been reported in these waters. Among the dolphins, and clearly visible in the video, is a very rare albino individual. This is the first albino recording for the project and indeed for Fujairah, and quite possibly the wider region.

Although Risso’s dolphins often show many white markings due to scarring from tooth raking during social interactions, an all-white dolphin like this one is a much rarer phenomenon, mentioned the Fujairah Whale Project. Field work to continue the scientific research for the project is due to commence again this year once travel restrictions related to COVID 19 are lifted.