The Ministry for Environmental Protection has fined the city of Herzliya NIS 9,000 for not taking sufficient action to reduce the number of mosquitoes in its jurisdiction, reports www.local.co.il. The fine follows a visit by ministry officials to the city during which they found two open pools of water in separate locations. According to the report, back in March, with the mosquito season approaching, the ministry sent letters to all the municipalities in the central district providing detailed instructions on steps to take to reduce the numbers of mosquitoes in their areas. A visit to Herzliya by ministry inspectors in late April revealed that at two separate sites the city had not acted on the instructions and had left open pools of water that provide a natural breeding ground for the insects. The ministry has now fined the city NIS 6,000 over the first breach and NIS 3,000 over the second. A ministry spokesman said that as well as being a nuisance and causing itching with their bites, mosquitoes were a "serious hazard" as disease carriers. The spokesman said the ministry would continue to act against environmental hazards and would not hesitate to penalize local authorities that did not deal with their environmental problems.