After several months of planning, Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai has returned a female whale shark to the waters of the Arabian Gulf from where she was rescued. The Atlantis Fish Husbandry Team utilized their experience and skill to save the animal in compliance with all CITIES regulations when she was found off the coast in distress and has been preparing the animal for return to the ocean. The seasonal elements affecting water temperature, salinity and migratory patterns were perfect for enhancing her survival in the open ocean.
“We will continue to track her progress through a tagging program co-developed with The Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida (the world’s largest scientific research organization dedicated to the study of sharks and their relatives)”, commented Steve Kaiser, Vice President, Marine and Science Engineering. “This will give us the opportunity to continue to learn from her and share that research within the whale shark community.”
Atlantis, The Palm is proud to be a leader in marine science and allow visitors and residents of the United Arab Emirates to learn more about marine animals. Education, conservation and research go hand in hand to benefit all marine life. The aquarium staff is deeply grateful to the supporters who believe that her life at Atlantis was necessary for her survival and was a tremendous learning effort that will contribute to the conservation of her species.
“The whale shark is an animal about which little is known and Atlantis is proud that the research and data gathered can be shared amongst the marine community,” Kaiser continued. “Aquariums and marine habitats are the key to education about our oceans and the animals that live in them.”
The marine habitats at Atlantis, The Palm are incredible environments. The over 42 million litres of seawater are drawn from the Arabian Gulf into an open-flow system through an almost four million litre reservoir, and then sand filtered, infused and cleaned with ozone before flowing into the marine habitats around the resort. This aquatic ecosystem mimics that which the marine life would experience in the wild, with a constant change in surroundings and seasonal changes in temperature. Atlantis employs some of the world’s most experienced marine experts in the world in displaying, breeding and facilitating research of many species and collectively have over a hundred years experience.
The marine habitat also features a fish hospital with quarantine pools for newborns, ailing and acclimatising marine life. This state-of-the-art feature enables Atlantis to serve as a rescue and rehabilitation centre for sea life, including marine mammals. It is the only centre for stranded animals in the Arabian Gulf. With the marine life expertise and facility at Atlantis, some of these stranded animals can be rescued, rehabilitated and returned to the wild.