Extra care to be taken on Abu Dhabi Corniche and Saadiyat Island
Environment Agency Abu Dhabi have warned beachgoers in Abu Dhabi to look out for sea snakes this winter.
Sea snakes are peaceful towards humans unless provoked and despite bites being potentially fatal, they rarely attack or bite.
The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi further cautioned against disturbing or handling the shy creature if spotted on the beach as they might not be dead but just “sluggish” They often have difficulty moving on land so they often wait for the tide to take them back to the sea.
Sea snakes are commonly seen in Abu Dhabi coastal waters to feed and reproduce at this cooler time of year when temperatures hover around 22°C. They retreat into deeper water during the warmer months.
Only a few of the world’s close to 70 known species of sea snake live in UAE waters. They can grow up to 2 metres long and are found in shallow waters, coral reefs and at beaches. Saadiyat Island and Abu Dhabi Corniche are where they are mostly seen.
These are known locally as ‘Bu jinn’ or ‘Bogni’. The most common sea snakes in the UAE are the Arabian Gulf sea snake, the yellow-bellied sea snake and the ornate reef sea snake.
Here’s what you need to do if you see a sea snake
- Avoid touching or catching it
- Keep a safe distance
- Contact and inform the site management or contact the Abu Dhabi government call centre on 800555
- Share your location and photos if available
- In the event someone is bitten, it is advisable to get to a doctor quickly as venom can cause blood clots and damage the nervous system. A bite can also lead to nausea, vomiting, and, in very rare cases, it can be fatal