During a police raid of a drug dealer’s home on Tuesday, officers discovered
that the Petah Tikva man also possessed an aquarium with three large, mature
piranhas, which are illegal in Israel.
Police arrested the man for drug
trafficking and Agriculture Ministry inspectors questioned him about the
Possession, import, distribution and sale of piranhas are
all illegal in Israel, as piranhas are a dangerous fish that reproduce quite
quickly and can cause severe injuries in humans.
Piranhas also pose an
ecological hazard to the country’s lakes and rivers, as their proliferation can
obliterate entire populations of other fish.
The piranhas in the man’s
aquarium were all about a year old, each approximately 20-25 cm. in length.
Native to Central and South American rivers, piranhas can grow up to 30
They feed on birds, worms and other fish quite brutally, according to
“In addition to the unequivocal danger posed to humans as a
result of of the growth of piranhas, the introduction of a species that does not
exist in Israel will severely harm the ecological balance of flora and fauna in
Israel and will harm inhabits of water sources, and of course constitutes
environmental damage,” said Hagai Neuberger, head of the Agriculture Ministry’s
“The Agriculture Ministry will continue to enforce
that the possession of these fish is prohibited.”