- Exotic rays, sharks, and dolphins have been spotted roaming around the waters of United Arab Emirates following the coronavirus lockdowns.
- According to a marine conservation group, marine animals are “benefiting” from the fewer boats, people, and pollution.
With most countries implementing strict lockdown measures to avoid the spread of coronavirus, the wildlife is enjoying greater space as more humans are now staying in their homes. This has again been proven as significant numbers of sea creatures have been noticed in many places.
For instance, there have been reports of rare eagle rays in Dubai Marina. Meanwhile, dolphins have been seen in Palm Jumeirah islands and a group of sharks were spotted in Ras al Khaimah.
Natalie Banks, founder and president of AZRAQ, a non-profit marine conservation organization, said that the aquatic animals are definitely having the time of their lives these days.
“Marine life is benefiting from there not being as many boats in the water, as many people, or as much pollution,” she said.
In April, 2,000 dolphins were seen in Fujairah.
“This was one of the largest pods ever seen in the region’s waters, so that is just amazing,” remarked Banks.
One of the obvious downsides, of course, is that the conservation group now has to rely on public reports about such sightings as their staff members are also affected by the lockdown. Their projects, such as beach clean-ups and mangrove tree planting, have all been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, Banks remains optimistic, pointing out that now more people are realizing that UAE isn’t just a desert place – it actually has rich marine wildlife.
“There is an opportunity to increase the awareness of the species in our waters and to make people care about them,” she added.
Meanwhile, dolphins have likewise been seen roaming around the waters of Venice, Italy following the quarantine.
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