Authorities probe suspected poisoning of fish in Sea of Galilee

Hundreds of dead fish found in Tzalmon estuary; water company rules out impact on drinking water system; Agriculture Ministry warns to only consume items from established stores

Dead fish seen floating in the Tzalmon estuary at the Sea of Galilee on May 16, 2023. (Firas Talhami/Water Authority)
Dead fish seen floating in the Tzalmon estuary at the Sea of Galilee on May 16, 2023. (Firas Talhami/Water Authority)

Authorities are probing the suspected poisoning of fish in the Tzalmon estuary in the Sea of Galilee, the Agriculture Ministry said Tuesday.

A joint investigation by the ministry and the Water Authority was launched after hundreds of dead fish were found floating in the area.

Tests were conducted and experts have ruled out any damage to the drinking water system.

The ministry said the public can continue to consume fish, but urged them to exercise caution and only purchase items from established shops.

The Environmental Protection Ministry said it was also working with the Water Authority on the matter and that it was guiding the Jordan Valley Regional Authority in disposing of thousands of fish via an authorized company that specializes in dealing with biological waste.

Water Authority and Israel Nature and Parks Authority wardens were working together to gather the dead animals, it said.

Suspicions were first raised by the Kinneret Research Laboratory which detected an unusually high mortality among fish in the area, Channel 12 reported.

Authorities suspect that fishermen scattered poison in the water. The network noted that in recent years there have been similar incidents and that in some cases, poisoned fish were later offered for sale in stores.

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