A foul smell led the way to Fujairah Port authority discovering a 15 metre long, 32 tonne, dead whale floating just of the coast on Thursday. The authority then alerted the municipality of the mammal and towed it ashore. The whale has been identified as a sperm whale, whilst the cause of death remains unknown. It is assumed the mammal was bought to Fujairah from strong sea currents and died up to five days ago.
The partially decomposed carcass makes it difficult for the cause of death to be identified, although oil spillages could be the cause. Back in 2012, a 13 metre long whale carcass washed up in Fujairah, which marine specialists believed had died from contact with an oil spill.
The 15 metre long whale discovered last Thursday has since been buried in a dry patch of land in Fujairah to allow it to decompose further. This process may take up to two years, with the municipality planning to put the skeleton on public display afterwards.
"We are planning to set up a marine life museum to display rare marine creatures,” said Mohammed Al Afkham, director general of Fujairah Municipality. Scientists have collected samples from the carcass to be used as part of the Fujairah Whale Research Project, launched earlier this year by Sheikh Mohammed Al Sharqi, the Crown Prince of Fujairah.
Sperm whale sightings are uncommon as they are believed to swim deep in the seas of the Indian Ocean. Let’s hope the next sighting is a live one!