Jeddah: Saudi Arabia's National Centre for Wildlife (NCW) has informed on Saturday about the sighting of five rare whales on the Red Sea shores in the Tihamah region of Makkah province, Arab News reported.
NCW tweeted that a Bryde's whale (Balaenoptera edeni brydei) was sp[otted 60km off the shores of Al-Qunfidah.
The 19-week exploration trip in the Red Sea, burdened with the observation of the whales sighted, is part of the Red Sea Decade Expedition (RSDE) and participated by 126 researchers who will study marine life. The expedition is conducted under the joint hands of NEOM (Kingdom's "New Future") Amaala Project, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, King Abdulaziz University and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.
CEO of NCW, Dr Mohammed Ali Qurban, said that RSDE's objective is to prepare a clear idea about the Red Sea environment through studying its mammal species, biodiversity and environmental characteristics. It will also map the biomass of coral reefs, seagrass, sea turtles etc. The trip will cover uncharted lands in the Red Sea as well as the Gulf of Arabia in the north.
Bryde's whales are rare in the Red Sea because they usually dwell in tropical and temperate waters throughout the year. They are similar to sei whales in morphology.
RSDE had revealed some other rare creatures they found earlier this month. They include the whale shark, Ryncodon Typus (one of the largest creatures in the Red Sea) and dugong (an endangered marine mammal).