Watch: Tiger shark spotted off shore in Eilat

Ecologist Dr. Assaf Zvuloni says tiger sharks naturally inhabit the Red Sea, and play an important role in the region's ecosystem; Nature and Parks Authority rangers on a dive off the Eilat coast encountered the supreme predators already known to visit the area

Noa Fisher|

Tiger shark spotted near Eilat shore
A tiger shark was spotted close to an Eilat shore near a bathing beach area of the city's northern coastline.
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Amos Barti, an Israel Nature and Parks Authority ranger was the first to spot the macropredator following several reports of its presence in the area.
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הכריש הטיגריסי במפרץ אילת
הכריש הטיגריסי במפרץ אילת
The tiger shark near Eilat
(Photo: Israel Nature and Parks Authority)
Dr. Assaf Zvuloni, an ecologist at the Gulf of Eilat Nature and Parks Authority, said, "Tiger sharks naturally inhabit the Red Sea and the Gulf of Eilat, and as supreme predators, they play an important role in the ecological system of the bay. However, they are relatively rare, and sightings of them are very infrequent. The presence of the shark in our area has raised many questions about the extent of the danger for bathers entering the sea in Eilat."
So why did the tiger shark appear in the Gulf of Eilat? The ecologist explained, "There are those who believe that sharks follow cargo ships that transport livestock, after carcasses are discarded into the sea, and they are also attracted by the effluents from sewage treatment plants that flow into the sea. There is not enough evidence-based information on this, but there have been sightings of sharks following such ships."
The Nature and Parks Authority emphasizes that harming sharks is prohibited. "It is important to note that sharks are protected natural assets according to the law, and they should not be harmed in any way," said Dr. Zvuloni. "They are an important part of the ecological system, and the threat they pose to humans is minor. In most cases, the opposite is true."
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ספינת המשלוחים החיים במפרץ אילת
ספינת המשלוחים החיים במפרץ אילת
Cargo ship near Eilat
(Photo: Israel Nature and Parks Authority)
Regarding the likelihood of a shark attacking swimmers, Dr. Zvuloni stated, "Shark attacks are extremely rare, especially in Eilat. While statistical data may not alleviate fears, it is important to know that the probability of being injured in a car accident is much higher. In 2022, there were 57 recorded shark attacks, one-third of which were provoked by interactions or attempts to feed the sharks. Forty-one of these cases occurred in the United States, and two cases in Egypt."
The latest attack in Egypt occurred earlier this month when a Russian tourist was killed by a shark in the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada, Egypt.
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