Egypt monitoring North Coast waters after fin whale sighting

Ahram Online , Friday 8 Jul 2016

Fin whales are an endangered species known to reside in the Egyptian waters; unprovoked, fin whales are harmless to humans

North Coast whale
Picture of a fin whale (Courtesy of the ministry of environment)

An Egyptian team started to monitor the waters of the Mediterranean Sea’s North Coast in an attempt to help a fin whale leave the shallow waters and guide it back to its natural habitat, an environment ministry statement read.

The ministry said the team was dispatched Thursday after reports and videos emerged of the whale on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Marina Compound, a major touristic destination in the North Coast.

Fin whales are an endangered species that are known to reside in Egyptian waters. Unprovoked, fin whales are harmless to humans, the ministry’s statement added.

The environment ministry concluded the statement by emphasizing that all whales registered as inhabiting the Egyptian waters don’t pose any danger to mankind.

The rare sighting of the whale, so close to shore, may have caused a brief scare to beachgoers, especially after a shark attacked an Egyptian man swimming six kilometers off shore in the Red Sea’s Al-Sokhna last month.

The ministry urged holidaymakers that, if faced with an encounter with a whale, not to act aggressively towards it or disturb it in any way.

Beaches of the North Coast are currently busy as Egyptians are celebrating the Islamic Eid Al-Fitr feast.

In May, a rare sperm whale washed ashore in the Red Sea’s Matrouh governorate.

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