08 October 2008

Free Sammy the Whale Shark

The juvenile whale shark in Dubai's Atlantis hotel is illegal as it does not have CITES papers. There are calls for its release as reported in Gulf News today.

"As far as we know there is no permit issued from the CITES office in Dubai," said the CITES-linked source.

"This hotel for example, has the right to rescue an animal but they need a permit to keep it and they have to inform the authorities. The whole country knows there is a whale shark at this hotel but we have not been officially made aware of it."

Also reported on deeper blue

Although it was initially reported that the shark would only be kept until it had recovered from an unspecified medical problem, Mr Leibman Atlantis Managing Director said there were no plans to release it. In "Dubai’s new dream hotel has a nightmare opening week" in the National newspaper, he says “I’m not sure where that statement came from,” he said.

He has also told 7 days “We have probably the most talented marine science people in the industry monitoring it and making sure it is well.”

Ibrahim Al-Zu’bi, environmental advisor for Emirates Diving Association, says he has seen the whale shark and believes it should be put back into the Arabian Gulf. “It should be tagged and released, the sooner the better,” he told 7DAYS. “I know Atlantis is under pressure at the moment because they have only just opened, but we’ve been told they would release the whale shark. “They are using it for educational awareness. But they will have to release it because it can grow up to more than ten metres - it’s common sense.”

Other links to the whale shark in Dubai
Links to whale sharks at Sentosa's Integrated Resort

Latest posts on the Dubai whale shark

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