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Sharks off shore in northern Israel
Photo: AFP
Sharks off shore in northern Israel

Warm waters draw sharks off Israel's Mediterranean coast

Israel Nature and Parks Authority warns both amateur and professional divers against swimming with Sandbar and dusky sharks known to frequent the waters saying interaction with sharks is neither predictable or controllable

AFP |
Published: 04.21.21 , 07:31
Dozens of sharks gathered Tuesday in warm waters of the Mediterranean near an Israeli power plant, drawing sightseers in what has become an annual occurrence.
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  • The sharks' fins sliced through the swallow waters just meters (yards) away from bathers eager to take photos of them near the city of Hadera. Sandbar and dusky sharks, which are known to frequent the waters, can grow up to three meters (10 feet) in length.
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    Sharks off shore in northern Israel
    (Photo: AFP)
    The sharks gather each year near where the power plant's hot water outlet gushes into the Mediterranean Sea.
    The Israel Nature and Parks Authority warned both amateur and professional divers against swimming with the creatures. "The interaction with sharks is neither predictable or controllable, and in recent days there has also been a change in the sharks' behavior," the authority wrote.
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    Israelis swim with sharks off the shore in northern Israel
    (Photo: AFP)
    The sharks are endangered and it is illegal to harm, feed or harass them, the authority added.
    Most of those in the waters off Hadera on Tuesday were dusky sharks, though some were the slightly smaller sandbar sharks, said Aviad Scheinin, an expert on apex predators at the University of Haifa.
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    People mill around a shark swimming near the shore in Hadera
    (Photo: AFP)
    In the Mediterranean, the sandbars are endangered and there is not enough data on the dusky sharks to determine their status, said. The mostly female dusky sharks come in late November and leave in early May, Scheinin said. "We think it might be something to do with the reproductive cycle," he said.

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    Shark swims off Hadera shore
    (Photo: AFP)

    The mostly male sandbar sharks arrive in January, although this season researchers found one female among some 20 males, he said."We're not sure why they are coming. It's an open question," he said of the sandbar sharks.
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