Israel has officially opened the largest marine reserve in the country, the Rosh Hanikra-Achziv Marine Reserve, which covers an area of just over 38 square miles on the Israeli Mediterranean coast. Stretching along approximately four miles of shoreline from the Israel–Lebanon border in the north to the city of Nahariya in the south, the reserve extends about nine miles into the sea.
The reserve protects flora and fauna above and below the waterline, and an underwater canyon half a mile deep. It is home to dusky, mottled, and golden groupers; a large population of rare Mediterranean slipper lobsters; as well as various sea anemones, sea slugs, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and other fish species.
“As a result of the reserve’s declaration, consistent monitoring and enforcement are in place to protect the natural values of the reserve from illegal fishing, pollution, and other damages,” said Eyal Miller, Director of the Northern Sea Region at the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. “These natural values are part of the underground abundance found in the reserve—and visitors, whether diving, snorkeling, or kayaking, can enjoy a vibrant underground marine landscape and a rich biological diversity that is hard to find in unprotected areas.”
Read more here.
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