Israeli Parks warn divers: Don’t pet the sharks

Sharks enjoy swimming in the warm water pumped into the sea by the Hadera power station, but Israeli divers are warned not to come too close.

Whale shark swims in the Gulf of Eilat (Ziv Neder/Nature and Parks Authority)
During winter time sharks enjoy swimming in the shallow water near the Hadera power station in the Haifa district of Israel due to the fact the power station pumps warm water into the sea.
The sight of schools of sharks swimming close to the beach tends to attract attention from Israeli sea lovers, who attempt to dive to observe and film the sharks.
However, sharks are wild animals protected by Israeli law and it is impossible to predict how they would respond to a human provocation.
It is illegal, and risky, to feed them, touch them, or bother them in any way. In addition, there are fishing nets and hooks spread along this part of the coast and an unexperienced diver might get caught up in them.
The Israeli Park Authority is due to take over the responsibility of overseeing fishing practices from the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture in 2018 and will increase its staff by 16 inspectors who will ensure fishing is conducted in Israel without harming the local wildlife.
Ranging in scope over three seas, from the Red Sea via the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea – the team is to man seven boats.
In 2017 100 violations of the Israeli fishing laws had been recorded and the criminals prosecuted.
The Mediterranean Sea is home to, among others, the Basking Shark, a plankton-eating shark which is the second largest in the world.