A shark bit a man, 27, as he worked at an offshore fish farm in Ashdod on
The man was in deep water some 7 km. off the coast when the shark
attacked him, leaving deep wounds from his forearm to his hand.
colleague pulled him out of the water and he was taken to shore in a boat. Magen
David Adom paramedics treated him before he was rushed to Sourasky Medical
Center in Tel Aviv.
Kelly Peretz, the paramedic who administered first
aid, said that when she saw the victim, he was conscious but suffering from
severe pain. At the hospital, he was declared stable with moderate
Dr. Ruth Yahel, head of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority’s
marine ecology department, said the incident demonstrates the danger of
open-water fish farming, where an unnatural amount of biomass is concentrated
and available to apex predators, such as sharks and dolphins. In such cases, man
and shark are likely to meet, with the fish typically getting the short end of
the stick, she explained.
“Usually, in these cases, the ones who get hurt
or suffer are the sharks or the dolphins. In this case it happened to be
the other way around,” she said.
According to Yahel, it is estimated that
approximately 20 species of shark ply the waters off Israel’s coast and that all
of them are protected from fishermen by Israeli law. But this doesn’t stop
poachers from fishing for sharks off the southern coastline and selling the meat
in the Gaza Strip markets.
Dr. Menachem Goren of the department of
zoology at Tel Aviv University said that attacks such as Sunday’s are very rare
in the eastern Mediterranean and that he could not remember a single case of a
shark attack not only off Israel’s coast, but also off Lebanon, Greece and
He said it is common to see sharks in offshore fish farms, where
they come to feed on the fish stalking around the cages, eating leftover fish
It makes sense, he said, that the worker was bitten while trying to
clear the shark from the fish cage, as was reported in the press.
shark sightings in Israel are rare, there have been outstanding tales in recent
years, including last February, when two Acre fisherman, pulling into the port,
found a 3-meter shark thrashing about in one of their nets. The fish quickly
became a short-lived tourist attraction, and pictures of local boys posing with
the razor-toothed shark were splashed across the press.
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