search
Stringing us along

Rare guitarfish, in danger of extinction, spotted in Eilat

Diver notices two-meter-long ray swimming among fishing lines off resort city’s Mifratz Hashemesh Beach

A guitarfish spotted off the cost of Eilat, August 2022. (Ofer Bar Yanai via Israel Nature and Parks Authority)
A guitarfish spotted off the cost of Eilat, August 2022. (Ofer Bar Yanai via Israel Nature and Parks Authority)

A rare guitarfish that is in danger of extinction was spotted off Eilat’s Mifratz Hashemesh Beach, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority said in a statement Thursday.

Diver and marine photographer Ofer Bar Yanai was in the water when he saw a large fish, over two meters (6 feet) in length, that was apparently a guitarfish, the INPA said.

Yanai said the fish nearly swallowed bait as it weaved between lines cast into the sea by anglers.

“It saddens me to see that especially in the Gulf of Eilat… where many valuable items of nature live and there are many that are in danger of extinction — the fishing that is carried out endangers them,” Yanai said, according to the statement.

He said that several unusual marine visitors have recently been spotted in the area and urged that it be declared a nature reserve to protect the marine life.

Eilat region Nature and Parks Authority director Omri Omsi said that guitarfish are very rarely spotted in the Eilat gulf but over the past two weeks there have been two documentations of different types of the species.

A guitarfish spotted off the cost of Eilat, August 2022. (Ofer Bar Yanai via Israel Nature and Parks Authority)

Guitarfish, he warned, “are in critical danger of extinction due to overfishing.”

The fish, a type of ray, can grow to be three meters long but pose no danger to people

The INPA urged divers to observe rare fish from a distance of several meters, giving them freedom to move about.

read more:

We have a new, improved comments system. To comment, simply register or sign in.

Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed