WATCH: Tagged humpback whale leaves Omani waters
November 25, 2017 | 8:00 PM
by Gautam Viswanathan, [email protected]
Photo supplied

Muscat: A rare Arabian humpback whale became the first to leave Omani waters when it entered the Yemeni territory on Thursday morning.

The whale, which was given the name ‘Half Moon’ by the Environment Society of Oman, was tagged in 2015 to identify its movements off the town of Hasik. It had recorded its deepest dives of up to 250 metres in this region.

The whale made its way towards the Hallaniyat Island, onwards to the Gulf of Masirah and was then recorded travelling into Yemeni waters.

Although the last recorded location of Half Moon was on August 3, 2015, the migration of the whale proves that the Arabian humpback whale may be seeking new areas to grow and breed, after being isolated for centuries off the coast of Oman, in the Arabian Sea.

Unlike other whales, Arabian humpback whales rarely migrate, as a result of which, their numbers haven’t been rising, with fewer than a hundred animals now present.

The whale is also listed as Endangered on the IUCN’s (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List, which documents all the animals that are on the verge of, or currently facing extinction.

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