Migdalor – The Tel-Aviv Yaffo Coastal Research Institute enters the field to examine the scope of pollution and damage to the city’s coastal and marine environment. It discovered no tar on the rocks in the water despite tar having been ejected on the shores.

The ecological disaster that struck Israel’s coast is the worst in many years. There are pictures everywhere of tar-filled coasts and thousands of volunteers who arrived at the shores to help remove the scattered lumps of tar.

The pollution will apparently accompany us for a long time. Alongside these shocking pictures of the coast, we are pleased to discuss some good news.

The Tel-Aviv Yaffo Coastal Research Institute examined this issue closely in the Tel-Aviv Port, Tel-Aviv Marina, the Jaffa Port, and along the city’s coastline using a variety of methods:

Seawalls and breakwaters in the ports and marina were inspected by our marine staff with company boats.

The coastline and wave breakers were filmed starting at Hof Hatzuk in the north and to Givat Aliya beach in the south, using a drone. The videos were carefully monitored for tar signs. 

In addition, as part of the ecological monitoring program of the Tel-Aviv Yaffo coastline, researchers working in the laboratory of Prof. Yoni Belmaker went snorkeling and examined the abrasion platforms of the coastal rocks on beaches with the highest ecological sensitivity.

They discovered no tar on the rocks in the water, despite the tremendous amount of tar found on the beach, the majority of which has already been cleaned.

It is too early to explain exactly how this happened, but this is very good news for marine wildlife in general, and for invertebrates and seaweed that grow on the rocks in particular, both of which play a significant role in the marine food web.

We will say that it will be a long time before we gain a full understanding of the repercussions of pollution on coastal and marine life, and that a tremendous joint effort is required to heal Israel’s shores. Together, it is possible.

זיהום נפט בחופים
Photo: Yoni Belmeker

Background photo: Ron Uriel