The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi has announced that researchers spotted a rare whale in the emirate's waters during a marine survey.
"The presence of whales is an indicator of the health and quality of the emirate's waters and the abundance of food within it," the agency said on social media.
The Bryde's whale, pronounced "broodus", is part of the baleen species and is considered one of the “great whales”. It belongs to the same family as the blue and humpback whales.
Bryde’s whales, named after Johan Bryde, a Norwegian man who built the first whaling stations in South Africa in the early 20th century, eat an estimated 630 kilograms of food per day.
They normally measure between 12 metres and 16 metres in length and can weigh between 12 and 22 tonnes.
The whales are generally found in tropical and subtropical waters.
Their diet consists mainly of krill, shrimp and a variety of schooling fish, including herring, mackerel and sardines.
They use different methods to feed, including skimming the surface, lunging, and creating bubble nets.
The agency urged the public to keep a safe distance if they happen to encounter a Bryde's whale. It also asked the public to report any rare or abnormal wildlife or environmental cases to the Abu Dhabi Government contact centre at 800 555.
In June this year, the carcass of a 12-metre Bryde's whale was found floating off Dubai's coast. It was moved to a safe location, where experts from the Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority and Zayed University studied the remains.