A plan to create a nature reserve off the coast of Ashdod is coming close to approval after the district planning committee gave the proposal the go-ahead. This reserve will protect marine life from the fishing industry and other natural phenomena in order to help to rebuild the ecosystems that have been destroyed.
The marine reserve, to be called Yam Evtach, is meant to protect sea animals in the area which will encompass 67,000-dunham (16,600-acres) and extend 4.35 miles into the ocean. It will begin around 1,000 feet from the coastline of the Nitzan Nature Reserve, in between Ashdod and Ashkelon. As the area is famous for its sand dunes, the location was chosen to give the full “land to sea” experience to visitors.
Sea animals in the region have been killed and displaced, and their habitats have been ruined due to powerful currents and trawling. Trawling is a technique used by commercial fishermen where a large, heavy, and powerful net is dropped to the sea floor, and dragged by fishing vessels. Anything caught in its path is either trapped and brought up to the ship, or destroyed. The proposed nature reserve will prohibit commercial fishing in the area to further protect sea animals.
The continued approval of the plan for the Yam Evtach nature reserve demonstrates a countrywide mentality of nature preservation and conservation. The Israel Nature and Parks Authority also believes that this will benefit the surrounding area as a whole, as the nature reserve will bring in more tourists and researchers alike.