Expert warns not to harm tiger shark spotted off coast of Eilat

Dr. Assaf Zvuloni says if a person encounters a shark he must remain calm and cautions against swimming in a panicked state, which can anger the shark


Tiger shark spotted near Eilat

A tiger shark was identified this week off the northern coast of Eilat and its rare arrival - apparently following a ship carrying cattle and sheep - aroused great interest. In an interview with Ynet studio, Dr. Assaf Zvuloni, an ecologist who specializes in the Gulf of Eilat at the Nature and Parks Authority, discussed what a person should do and what not to do in case you meet a shark during a dive. Zvuloni also called on the public not to harm the shark.
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Zvuloni emphasized that encounters with tiger sharks are extremely rare in nature. He explained that the chances of encountering a tiger shark, or any other species of shark, are very small, and it is usually a stroke of luck to see such a beautiful creature. If a shark shows aggressive behavior, which has occurred in other parts of the world, Zvuloni advised that a person should remain calm. He acknowledged that there is fear associated with sharks, particularly considering their poor public image.
Tiger sharks are part of the fish populations found in the Gulf of Eilat, according to Zvuloni. He said that sharks and dolphins live naturally in the area, and that shark sightings have occurred in the past, so it is not a new phenomenon.
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הכריש הטיגריסי במפרץ אילת
הכריש הטיגריסי במפרץ אילת
Tiger shark spotted off shore in Eilat
(Photo: Israel Nature and Parks Authority)
He pointed out, however, that the excitement over the sighting might be due to a shark of the same species being involved in a shark attack in Egypt, in which a tourist was killed. He clarified that the shark observed in Eilat is not the same shark as the one involved in the attack.
Zvuloni discussed what not to do in the presence of a shark. He cautions against swimming in a panicked state, as it can capture the shark's attention due to their keen senses. It is preferable to approach the shore calmly and slowly while maintaining visual contact with the shark.
Tiger sharks are a large species of sharks found in all oceans. They can reach lengths of up to 5 meters and live for up to 50 years. They prefer relatively shallow waters. Regarding the habits of tiger sharks in the Gulf of Eilat, Zvuloni said that they mostly travel alone.
These sharks are crucial to the ecological system, and efforts are made to protect and preserve them in the Gulf of Eilat, according to Zvuloni. He also emphasized that it is forbidden to harm the sharks, which are protected by law and serve as important natural assets. He said that in the Sinai Peninsula, after the attack, sharks were either harmed or killed, something he does not believe is beneficial in any way.
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