Int’l nature conservation union designates Israel’s beaches important dolphin habitat


In response to Israel’s beaches being added as an important aquatic mammal habitat, Israeli dolphin center director says, ‘Israel is a beam of light in the darkness of a lack of information about marine mammals in eastern Mediterranean.’

By Dan Lavie


The beaches of Israel have been declared an important habitat for dolphins by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Widely considered the world’s most important international entity in the field of nature protection, the IUCN is known for its “red lists” of endangered species.

Dolphin at Dolphin Reef in Eilat – Photo: רונן מרקוס/Wikimedia

Israel was one of 26 spots in the Mediterranean region named as being of importance to marine mammal life after a yearlong scientific process by the IUCN. The process involved convening a panel of experts that included representatives from every Mediterranean country. Israel was represented by Dr. Aviad Scheinin, director of the Dolphin and Sea Educational Center in Ashdod, run by the nonprofit Israel Marine Mammal Research and Assistance Center and the Morris Kahn Marine Research Center at the University of Haifa.

“This makes Israel proud. We are a beam of light in the total darkness of an absence of information about marine mammals in the eastern and southern Mediterranean,” Scheinin said.


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