For the first time in 50 years, Yarkon Bleak fish – known in Hebrew as the
Lebanon fish – have been spotted in the once highly polluted middle portion of
the Yarkon River.
Since the river became polluted in the 1950s, the
Yarkon Bleak disappeared entirely from the river’s midsection and have not been
seen since in this area between Nahal Kana and Sheva Tachanot, the Yarkon River
Authority said. An endangered species, the freshwater Yarkon Bleak – known
scientifically as Acanthobrama telavivensis – is restricted only to coastal
rivers of Israel, excluding the Kishon River, according to data from the
International Union for Conservation of Nature.
For years, this fish has
occupied the clean portion of the Yarkon River between the riverside springs and
Nahal Kana, but due to the shortage of water and unsuitable conditions, the fish
were transferred from the river to a special treatment facility at Tel Aviv
University. At the end of this project, which included Israel Nature and Parks
Authority, Tel Aviv University and the Yarkon River Authority, the fish returned
to that clean section of the river.
Only now, however, have the fish also
begun to once re-inhabit the middle section of the river, in light of the
substantial improvement in water quality and ecological conditions, according to
the river authority.
“The presence of the fish is encouraging and
indicates that our efforts in recent years are bearing fruit and life is
returning to the river,” the Yarkon River Authority said.