Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Fish Farms

To follow up my conversation with Liza, I did a google search to learn more. The fish farms are in the north part of the Israeli Red-Sea coastline, near the Jordanian border. This is not close to where we snorkeled last week. The farms are considered to be producing toxic wastes, and environmental organizations have urged the government to shut them down. One recommendation was to shut them down almost immediately; another to do so by 2008, then postponed to 2010.

A quote from the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, June 2005:
  • The Government has issued a formal decision approving the new outline plan relating to development and protection of the Red Sea shoreline, after five years of repeated delays. IUED has partnered other enviornmental organizations in campaigning for a speedy resolution to the major stumbling block that has prevented planning authorities from adopting the outline plan: the fate of several offshore fish farms that are a significant source of pollution and degradation of Eilat's unique coral reefs.
  • While IUED welcomes the long-awaited approval of the outline plan, we are disappointed that the government has chosen to ignore the recommendation of the National Planning & Building Committee in December 2004 to remove fish farms from the Red Sea within 14 months. The government has agreed to a three year transition period for the winding down and removal of the mariculture industry from the Red Sea, during which further ecological damage will occur.

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