Newsgate360 – Dubai: Atlantis, The Palm highlighted its commitment to marine conservation with the release of 10 young sharks into the Arabian Sea. The iconic entertainment resort teamed up with Dubai Municipality for the release as part of its ongoing conservation efforts to give back to the marine environment.
The UAE marked National Environment Day with various activities to raise awareness of the importance of protecting and preserving the environment. Committed to supporting and advancing conservation efforts locally, the Marine Educators and Animal Care teams at Atlantis, The Palm deliver memorable and meaningful education programmes every day that raise awareness for marine conservation. The teams also regularly get involved in numerous local conservation programmes, including beach cleanups, mangrove planting and wildlife releases.
The latest effort saw 10 young Arabian Carpetsharks released into the ocean at the Jebel Ali Sanctuary in Dubai on the 4th February, bringing the total number of releases from Atlantis to 18 sharks and 4 rays since 2019. Arabian Carpetsharks are native to the Arabian Sea region and can be found off the coast in coral reefs, lagoons, rocky shores, muddy bottoms and mangroves. Thanks to Dubai’s commitment to preserving its wetlands, the Jebel Ali Sanctuary in Dubai was added to the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance in 2018, making it the eighth protected wetland in the country.
Each of the sharks, aged between 8 to 10 months, had been born and cared for at Atlantis, The Palm’s dedicated fish hospital. The Animal Care team carefully assessed each shark before deeming them healthy and suitable for release. To prepare for their journey into the wild, the sharks were encouraged to explore and interact with other compatible marine life and to forage for their own food.
Robert Bennett, Large Exhibits Manager at Atlantis, The Palm, said: “We are committed to playing our part in sustaining the ecological balance in the ocean. Allowing sharks to breed is a natural process which leads to maintaining natural behaviours and improving animal welfare. The team has spent more than eight exciting months caring for them, and their safe release into the wild is the culmination of a dream.”
This year, the Atlantis Marine Educators and Animal Care teams engaged the local community during the release, educating them about shark anatomy, biology and how everyone can do their bit to protect them. In addition, the Atlantis team joined more than 60 volunteers, including participants from Al Waheeda Secondary School to conduct a mangrove planting in order to enhance existing mangrove forest cover.
Kelly Timmins, Director of Conservation, Education & CSR, Atlantis, The Palm, said: “Atlantis is 100 per cent committed to conservation. Home to more than 65,000 marine animals, we go to every length possible to create immersive and memorable experiences that connect people to nature and inspire them to protect it. We recognise the crucial role that aquariums around the world have to play in helping to improve the conservation of biodiversity, which includes breeding and reintroduction programmes. We are dedicated to working with local government agencies and non-profit organisations to advance marine conservation nationally, and to ensure future generations are able to benefit from a healthy and productive ocean.”