A school of about 15 sharks was spotted Wednesday afternoon off the southern shores of Haifa.
The Israeli Marine Mammal and Assistance Center (IMMRAC) at Michmoret reported that the sharks pose no danger to humans, as long as people refrain from approaching them or trying to hurt them.
Sharks off Haifa shores. 'Just like in the movies' (Photo: Galia Banamo)
The sharks were first sighted at about 3 p.m., when they were at a distance of some 500 meters (roughly 1,500 feet) from the shore, and researchers were immediately called to the site. According to eyewitnesses who saw the sharks, "their fins were sticking out of the water just like in the movies."
Oz Goffman, IMMRAC director-general, told Ynet he estimates that the group is of fox-type sharks, named so due to the elongated shape of their heads.
He noted that the sharks appeared to be minding their own business and posed no threat to the bathers at sea. He stressed, however, that it was not advisable to come near the sharks, try to hunt them, or pet them.
IMMRAC experts also stated that shark schools were not an uncommon sight in the Mediterranean Sea, unlike dolphins that rarely visit the Sea's eastern basin.
Since the beginning of spring, several groups of rare marine mammals have been sighted along Israel's coasts. IMMRAC officials have on several occasions been summoned to assist whales and sharks across the country's shores. In some cases, sharks were found dead, while in others they were rescued alive from fishing nets.