Sunday, February 18

Fish anyone?

Fishing and Jaffa go hand in hand. Jaffa has been a fishermen's town for some 4000 years.
One wonders about the next 4000, or perhaps about the next 100 years or so.
My fishermen friends tell me there are less and less fish in the Mediterranean Sea.
Some fish types have almost completely disappeared.
Overfishing may have something to do with it, but so the fishermen say, there are other, more serious reasons for it.
One is the Suez Canal, whose waters and passing ships have brought all kinds of non-Medditerranean fish with it over the years. Another reason is the release of different poisons, the Shafdan's sludge among them. The food chain is easily disturbed. Delicate ecologically balanced systems have been torn apart and chainreactions bring about unexpected modifications in marine life, or perhaps, one should say, marine death.
It's not only the professional fishermen, going out of Jaffa harbor with their nets night after night, but also the guys sitting, patiently waiting for the fish to bite, saturday after saturday.
They catch less and what fish they catch, are small.
Normally after a storm there are many fish. After last weeks storm, there was much less than they expected.
Just bad luck, or don't we even have another 100 years of fish? Industrial waste, sewage from the big cities, tankers and yes, perhaps also over fishing. Anybody listening out there?
It's a pity the fish cannot scream. If they could, perhaps we would hear them.

This is not only about Jaffa, it's about our sea, our neighbor's sea. Everybody's sea.


J.P. said...

These rocks on the picture, looking at the seaweed on top I assume te situation now to be at low tide.
Fish start getting interested into bait when the water is going into the direction of high tide.
Fishing at low tide is a waste of time.

Too the use of too narrow gill nets is destructive to the breeding grounds.

yudit said...

You are right, but i think many people go fishing for other reasons, a little peace and quiet being one of them.

The professional fishermen go out in boats at night, some use nets, others use bait on so many long threads.

Some of them use light as an attraction for the fish.

The true fishermen do not use nets that are too fine nor fish in spawning areas, not to hurt "next year's" fish.
I think the pollution is doing a lot of damage

Lirun said...

i hope the small fish are being released

Anonymous said...


There's also fishing done at Ein Gev in Kinneret... apparantly there are 27 species of fish in the Kinneret and the annual St. Peter’s catch there is 200-300 tons!

Plus NY Times had an interesting article 2 Jan 2007 - 'From Far Beneath the Israeli Desert, Water Sustains a Fertile Enterprise' by DINA KRAFT at KIBBUTZ MASHABBE SADE.. re warm-water fish...with some nice pics...

yudit said...

As to the Kinneret, due to heavy overuse, it's water quality is going down and the waterlevel is, in spite of the rain, still not where it is supposed to be.

As to the water reservoirs under the Negev and the clever use of them (and re-use as written about in the article): i think i read somewhere these are part of the 2 main aquifers so taking out a lot of water there, will influence water as a whole.
Another point is desert ecology. The desert has an ecological system all of its own. Massively interfering with it, may buy us food on the short run, but what is its effect on the long run?
I'm not saying No to this, as i do not know enough about it, but i think we should be careful.

J.P. said...

100 years will be too positive, every 25 years there will be less, a halve, a quarter, who knows, we do not have the technique to put a few stakes and do the counting of what is left.
Pollution is the silent killer, invisible but all around.

As for the water resevoirs beneath the Negev, we all know about Lake Aral dont we?

Every morning to work I pass a lake , no not Lake Erie, make it a reclaimed inlet, on the other side there is a different weather, the lake is of influence to the surrounding circumstances.