Omani rescuers fail to save endangered beached whale shark

Omani rescuers fail to save endangered beached whale shark
2 min read
12 October, 2021
A whale shark that beached on the coast of Oman has died, despite the efforts of locals to save it.
Whale sharks have been monitored off the coast of Oman since 1998 [Getty]

Rescuers have failed to save a whale shark that beached itself on the coast of Oman

The six-metre-long whale shark was discovered by a local resident from the nearby village of Sohar, as he took his morning walk along the beach. 

"We saw a whale swimming towards the shore," Abdullah Al-Neyadi told Times of Oman.

"I rushed to help it with some fishermen on the beach, to try to find out why it was injured, and so that we could help it back to sea, but we were surprised that the whale [shark] was bleeding profusely from the back,” he continued. 

Despite calls to the Environment Agency, they were not able to determine the whale shark’s injuries were and were ultimately unable to save the animal. 

"It took six hours before the whale [shark]’s ordeal ended and it finally ended up on shore, thanks to the momentum of the waves. I felt very sad that I was unable to save it," Al-Neyadi said.

According to an official from the Environment Department, the whale shark got tangled in the nets of fishermen off the coast. 

The whale shark is considered an endangered species and can grow to lengths of 18 metres. It can live for as long as 130 years. 

Despite their size and name, whale sharks pose no threat to humans.

The loss of this particular fish is considered a great loss for the local species. 

"For this group to survive, it can at best lose one animal a year to human accidents," the official said. 

A pod of whales sharks has been closely monitored off the coast of Oman since 1998. 

"The Environment Department in North Al-Batinah Governorate calls on everyone to contribute to the preservation of whales, take precautionary measures to preserve them, do what is necessary to prevent them from accidentally falling into fishing nets, and work to safely remove them from nets, should they come across such a situation," the official added.