The carcass of a whale found floating off Dubai's coast could shed light on the species in the region.
The Bryde's whale, 12 metres long and weighing 15 tonnes, was found dead in the Jebel Ali canal by emergency teams from DP World.
It was moved to a safe location, where experts from the Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority and Zayed University studied the carcass.
Samples were collected to help experts learn about how the whales live in the region and ultimately boost conservation efforts.
"The purpose ... is to identify the causes of death and for other scientific research purposes," said Hana Al Suwaidi, chairwoman of the authority.
Initial investigations revealed "no clear evidence of marine debris entanglement or ship strikes, nor was there any trace of food in the stomach", authorities said.
However, several parasites were found in several organs and further tests, including toxicology exams, are to be conducted.
Bryde's whales have smooth bodies, with dark grey skin on top and white on the underside.
Sightings in UAE waters are relatively rare but they are known to be active in the Arabian Gulf.
No firm numbers for Bryde's whales in UAE waters were available, authorities said, and they also did not disclose when this whale was found by DP World.
The mammal does not have teeth and scoops huge amounts of small fish and crustaceans into its mouth and filters them.
They can grow up to about 15 metres and are thought to live between 50 and 70 years.
Last year, a rare sighting of a Bryde's whale was made by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi off the coast of the emirate.
The previous year the carcass of a Bryde's whale that washed up in Sharjah prompted calls for maritime and conservation authorities to work together to uncover why whales were dying.