Twenty Knesset members from across the political spectrum have voiced their support for a bill calling for major restrictions in the fishing sector, promoted by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel.
The bill – which aims to limit fishing during breeding season, safeguard species at risk, define protected areas and curb trawling practices – was initiated by Finance Committee chairman Moshe Gafni and Science and Technology Committee chairman Uri Maklev, both from the United Torah Judaism party. Also instrumental in the bill's formulation were MKs Rachel Azaria (Kulanu) and Tamar Zandberg (Meretz), according to SPNI.
Emphasizing the vulnerable situation of the Mediterranean's fauna, the bill focuses both on reducing harm to the country's maritime assets as well as preserving an ample fish population for commercial and sport fishermen, whose livelihoods have been damaged by large trawling operations. By providing a new management scheme for the fishing industry, the bill's authors said they hope to maintain the sector's existence for generations to come.
"The Israeli Mediterranean has been shown in past decade a dramatic decline of more than 40 percent in fishing yields, and deterioration in the state of the ecosystem," said Alon Rothschild, biological diversity coordinator for SPNI.