Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Manama and Abu Dhabi's latest event seems to suggest that they have solved all their internal and external problems, realized the dreams of all their citizens, cleared prisons of prisoners of conscience and the wrongfully sentenced, spread justice, contributed to a solution to the Palestinian issue, and that it is now time to resolve the most pressing of issues, i.e. "where the second largest gathering of manatees in the world is".
In fact, it is ridiculous that the UAE and Saudi Arabia are competing to attract global companies to launch their regional centers in their capitals, to gain influence with regard to huge business transactions and investments. Only a few noticed the competition between Bahrain and the UAE over the manatees.
It is not about oil and gas, it is between the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi, headed by Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, headed by Mai Al Khalifa. The two parties recognize, like the rest of the specialized bodies in the world, that the largest gathering of manatees is located in Australia, but both Manama and Abu Dhabi say that the second largest gathering of manatees is found in their countries.
Statements have been issued by both countries in this regard and studies have been made to determine who wins the title of the largest manatees gathering. The Abu Dhabi Environment Agency issued an official statement saying that "Australia has the largest number of manatees, followed by Abu Dhabi." "The Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi has been protecting and studying manatees since 1999, protecting about 3,000 manatees, most of which in the waters around the Marawah Marine Reserve." It stressed that "the island of Bu Tinah has the largest numerical density of manatees in the world."
Bahrain then responds through its official news agency that it has completed a three-year specialized study, which included extensive air and sea surveys, during which satellite imagery and modern techniques were used to monitor the state of seagrass, which represent the main food for manatees.
The study concluded that "The territorial waters of the Kingdom of Bahrain embrace groups of manatees that are considered the largest in the world in terms of number and population, since 1986, when they were first spotted in the northwest of the Hawar Islands." The study confirms that "The research team succeeded in monitoring a group of manatees in the territorial waters of the Kingdom of Bahrain which accounted for nearly 700 and is therefore deemed the largest group of manatees in the world to date."
Mai Al Khalifa praised in an official statement to the official news agency the results of the study, explaining that "The next stage of the project will focus on conducting intensive field studies to explore the vulnerability of these large groups of dugongs to human activities."
Does Mai Al Khalifa know what she is saying with regards to intensive field studies? Did she forget that her family created landfills and destroyed fish habitats and marine life, and that the government announced as part of its "economic recovery" plan the destruction of one of the most important sand bars, Fasht Al-Azem?
In the midst of the funny rivalry, without preannouncement, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited Bahrain, and held a summit with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in the presence of his sons and pillars of his royal court, a summit for manatees.
In this context, Nasser bin Hamad, the son of the King of Bahrain, delivered a welcome poem in front of Mohammed bin Zayed.
The manatees summit was held in Bahrain, but the official news did not reveal the most important issue of concern to the two ruling regimes, who has the most manatees?