Israel moves corals after secret beach reopens

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 13, 2019 - Duration: 01:17s

Israel moves corals after secret beach reopens

For 50 years an Israeli oil company kept bathers and scuba divers away from a prime strip of beach in the Red Sea resort of Eilat.

But it couldn't stop the sea life.

Megan Revell reports.


Israel moves corals after secret beach reopens

Sea life and oil companies don't always live in harmony - but Israel's Eilat is bucking the trend.

On this beach in the Red Sea resort, unspoiled corals have blossomed on a pipeline and docking pier.

For 50 years, an Israeli oil company kept tourists at bay, allowing sealife to thrive undisturbed.

But the company has recently scaled back its operations, and the area was handed back to the public a year and a half ago; presenting an opportunity for tourism, but also an environmental challenge.

(SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) ASSAF HABARY, MANAGER OF THE EILAT REGION FOR THE ISRAEL NATURE AND PARKS AUTHORITY, SAYING: "At the bottom of the sea here there is a lot of old waste that accumulated over the years and we need to get it out.

The problem is that many corals and various natural riches accumulated on top of this waste, on top these objects, and we need to remove them before we take out the waste.

It's a strenuous, not simple task.

There are hundreds of colonies of coral that we need to relocate, one by one, delicately, as you've probably seen." Hammers and chisels are used to gently chip off the corals, before they are lifted and floated down the shore.

The corals are being relocated to an area that will afford them greater protection, from the three million sun-seekers that visit Eilat every year.

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