The sharks have returned — to the warm waters off Hadera power station
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The sharks have returned — to the warm waters off Hadera power station

Scientists begin tagging specimens for research, warn public to stay away, though intrepid divers are expected to frequent underwater site

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

This January 21, 2019 photo, taken by a drone camera, shows researchers from the predator project at the Morris Kahn Marine Research Station established by the University of Haifa looking for sharks in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the northern Israeli city of Hadera.(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
This January 21, 2019 photo, taken by a drone camera, shows researchers from the predator project at the Morris Kahn Marine Research Station established by the University of Haifa looking for sharks in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the northern Israeli city of Hadera.(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

The coal-fired Hadera Power Station on Israel’s northern coast is hardly a symbol of environmental conservation, but for dozens of sharks, the jacuzzi-like conditions in the Mediterranean Sea there provide a warm and welcoming winter retreat.

Earlier this month, the sharks returned to Israel’s shores, where they will remain until the spring, giving Israeli scientists a unique opportunity to study the school in general, and requiem sharks (Carcharhinidae) in particular.

On Monday, scientists from the University of Haifa’s Morris Kahn Marine Research Station at Kibbutz Sdot Yam began their annual tagging of the animals, starting with a 2.5-meter (2.7 yard) long specimen they called Hamsa — the word for a five-fingered symbol of good luck.

In recent years, around 50 sharks — among them sandbar and dusty sharks, as well as hammerheads — have been tagged in these waters to help researchers better understand the species’ numbers, behavior and migration routes.

Shark numbers in the Mediterranean Sea have nosedived due to fishing of their food and of themselves — usually for shark fin soup.

In Israeli waters, they are protected.

With access to the beach easy, a string of organizations have come together to produce an ethics code for the public (in Hebrew) for those wishing to view the sharks on land or from the sea.

The code prohibits feeding the sharks so as not to make them dependent and calls on divers to stay away from what can be harsh sea conditions with strong currents and low visibility, particularly during sunrise and sunset when the sharks are feeding. There are guidelines for divers who insist on going in and for people in boats and other seafaring vessels. There are no rescue services at the site. 

מתרגשים לבשר שהיום, ה-25.11.2019, נפתחה בחגיגיות עונת תיוג הכרישים בחדרה עם כרישה עפרורית באורך 2.5 מטר העונה לשם "חמסה"…

פורסם על ידי ‏תחנת מוריס קאהן לחקר הים – Morris Kahn Marine Research Station‏ ב- יום שני, 25 בנובמבר 2019

הכרישים כאן.בקרוב נתחיל בתיוג.אוניברסיטת חיפה – University Of Haifa

פורסם על ידי ‏תחנת מוריס קאהן לחקר הים – Morris Kahn Marine Research Station‏ ב- יום ראשון, 24 בנובמבר 2019

Also this week, a pod of sporty dolphins was spotted off the coast of Ashdod, in southern Israel, by Morris Kahn Marine Research Station researcher Yaly Mevorach, who studies under Top Predator Project Manager, Dr. Aviad Scheinin and marine biologist Prof. Dan Tchernov.

דולפיננים מצויים מפגינים ספורטיביות מול חופי אשדוד בזמן ש Yaly Mevorach עושה את הגיחה השבועית שלה במסגרת לימודיה לתואר…

פורסם על ידי ‏תחנת מוריס קאהן לחקר הים – Morris Kahn Marine Research Station‏ ב- יום שלישי, 26 בנובמבר 2019

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