​​​Ministry of Agriculture and Israel Nature and Parks Authority step up outreach and supervision efforts in the Mediterranean Sea during the period of moratorium on fishing with fishing nets

The period of moratorium on fishing with fishing nets is from now until the 31st of August, inclusive. It is declared by the Head of the Fisheries sub-division in the Ministry of Agriculture in accordance with the Fishing Regulations, in order to safeguard the fishes’ spawning process and to allow for the completion of the proper convergence of the young fish into adult schools so as to preserve the fisheries resource in the Mediterranean

The Marine Unit of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, which is charged by thee Ministry of Agriculture with supervising the fishing industry in Israel, will step up its outreach and supervision efforts around the Mediterranean during the moratorium period for fishing with fishing nets, which this year will last from now until the 31st of August, inclusive. During this period outreach and supervision activities will be taking place at sea and in the marinas throughout all the hours of the day and with reinforced crews.

The Fisheries Sub-Division at the Ministry of Agriculture each year declares a fishing moratorium period in the Kinneret and Mediterranean according to the timing of the spawning season. This is intended to ensure, to the extent possible, the orderly spawning process of the fish including the schooling period, in order to safeguard the marine fisheries resource. 

Yigal Ben Ari, Manager of the Marine Unit in the Israel Nature and Parks Authority explains that “A few months after the fish spawning season, the small fry reach the schooling period, especially in the sandy habitat. Following the spawning season and while the eggs develop, the juvenile fish, the larval stage, drifts with the currents and disperses. When this stage is over, when the small fry are about a month or two of age, the maturing fish begin their “schooling” period - they converge, mainly in the sandy habitat, and join the schools of adult fish. Therefore during the schooling period, there is an inordinately large proportion of fingerlings, which are economically worthless. The schooling times of the different species can be estimated mainly by observation and measurement of the fishing net catch. Therefore, in order to avoid catching small fry, fishing with fishing net boats is forbidden during this period. In this context we will be stepping up our supervision around the clock and together with other enforcement agencies in order to successfully enforce this moratorium, thereby successfully upholding the sea fisheries”.

Nir Froyman, Manager of the Fisheries Sub-Division in the Ministry of Agriculture: “The Ministry of Agriculture considers the safeguarding of the fisheries resource to be of great importance, both for catching healthy, fresh fish for the general public, and for protecting the fisheries for years to come and for future generations. Therefore, we are doing our best to stop the damage to the local fish populations, to optimally safeguard their habitats and spawning grounds, to protect the small fry from becoming by-catch prematurely and to prohibit fishing during sensitive periods. For twenty years now, no new fishing licenses have been issued for boats. This is part of the Ministry’s policy of preserving the correct balance between commercial fishing and the available fishery resource in our region”.