Photos by: Yaniv Levi, Shlomi Amran, Shlomi Ben Shimol, and Nadi Kansky from Israel Sea Turtle Rescue Center, Facebook
Israel is in an urgent race to save wildlife after an oil tanker leaked in the Mediterranean Sea. This is Israel’s most serious ecological disaster in recent years.
As per a statement from Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, sticky, black tar began washing up and contaminating the beaches last Wednesday, as a result of the stormy weather. It is feared that another storm with high waves will begin this week.
Thousands of trained volunteers across Israel are helping with beach restoration efforts, which include rescuing marine animals. Israel Sea Turtle Rescue Center confirmed in a post on its Facebook page that it is treating multiple turtles covered in tar.
The organization, which is affiliated with Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority and the Israel Nature and Heritage Foundation (INHF), is urging the public to immediately report any sea turtle found “alive or dead” to its 3639 hotline.
“Live turtles must come to treatment at the rescue center as soon as possible, while the dead turtles are important to document, so that we learn the scope of the disaster,” the wildlife sanctuary shared in the post.
Sadly, out of 190km of beach in Israel, 170km were hit by the oil spill, from Rosh Hanikra to Zikim. The nature reserves affected include: Shakmona, Habonim, Rosh Hanikra, Tel Dor, Palmachim, Nitzanim, Zik Gedor, Hasharon Beach.
As noted by the Nature and Parks Authority on its Facebook page, field assessments report that it is evident that these complex and strenuous operations will be required to continue over a long period of time. The Authority is working with EcoOcean and other organizations that are involved in the clean-up and are setting up information and volunteer stations at several centers along the beach.
If you are currently in Israel and would like to volunteer to help in the cleanup efforts, please find more information HERE!
You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg