A Haaretz article this week explained that the ban on commercial fishing in the Sea of Galilee, which was to have been imposed nearly a year ago in response to an alarming decline in fish stocks, was never actually implemented. Moreover, a new plan approved by a Knesset committee now calls for only a four-month annual hiatus, during spawning season:
“In easing the fishing ban, the committeee adopted recommendations presented to it on Tuesday by a committee of experts … The panel was charged with determining the ecological state of the Kinneret [Sea of Galilee -tp] and assessing the implications of the ban. The ban was scheduled to go into effect last March but was postponed. The committee of experts noted during yesterday’s Knesset committee session that its work was hampered by a significant lack of data on the state of fishing and water quality in the Kinneret. The recommendation constitutes a victory for the lake’s fishermen, who for the past year have been battling the proposed moratorium. “Our fight paid off and justice has been served. It’s a day of joy for fishermen,” Ya’akov Fadida, chairman of the Tiberius Fishermen’s Organization, said yesterday.”
It would appear that the lawmakers, rather than err on the side of caution, yielded to pressure from the fishermen’s organization — at the expense of the fish, and perhaps that of the lake itself as a living body of water. Not a very sustainable situation, in my opinion. I mean, the annual catch (in tons) dropped by more than 90 percent between 1999 and 2009 — something’s sure wrong! Read the full article here. For background, the January 2010 article announcing the original ban is here.