תוחנזנו תועוגפ םיגומלא תוינוש םקשל ךרוצה
It is well accepted that urbanization has caused an ever-increasing effect on shores of the northernmost part of the Gulf of Aqaba, especially on the coral reef environment. The proposals to deal with this situation are mainly based on a naive assumption that once pollution is totally reduced and physical damage controlled, given the time, rehabilitation ofthe reefs is assured. On the other hand, serious efforts have been made to provide us with an alternative for the totally irrecoverable reefs - replacing them by artificial reefs.
Nevertheless, there is a third class - less-severely damaged or polluted reef environments, a result of long-lasting neglect and physical destruction, whose recovery is not self evident. Almost one third of the coral-inhabited shoreline along the Israeli coast falls into this class. Being designed for bathing and boating activities their natural character is totally ignored. As a result, these reefs, together with their sunounding sandy lagoons, suffer from dumping of garbage and other mistreatment. Furthermore, these beaches were practically rejected as unworthy to preserve. It may be that a similar phenomena may prevail in the near future along urbanized shores of the Gulf which certainly adds to the necessity to deal with the situation.
I want to raise a claim to restore and rehabilitate these rejected reefs, which, in my opinion, we cannot afford to loose. Without interfering with their use as public beaches, these reef environments should be reclaimed as such, and treated accordingly.
Although they are in a deplorable state, in observations carried out along these shores, I found many living species of corals, some of which are in very good condition, and an attractive assortment of fishes and invertebrates, all living and thriving. They represent a link between the reef prevailing along the western shore and the sandy shores along the northern shore. Typical to these reefs is the large proportion of juvenile reef fishes (Chaetodontidae, Pomacentridae, etc.)
In the present state of ever-increasing damage to the nature preserve and other protected reefs due to over-use by divers and damage by tourist yachts. I believe that ignoring the potential of such reefs contributes to further aggravation of this predicament.
By reclaiming and restoration I mean the following -
Theses projects should be carried out by volunteer groups headed by marine experts, and financed by the Nature Protection Authority. Additional financial support can be obtained from commercial institutions - the neighboring hotels, tourism agencies, etc., under the title of "reef adoption".
International Conference: The Ecosystem of the Gulf of Aqaba in Relation to the enhanced Economical Development and the Peace Process II - Eilat, Jan 30th - Feb 2nd, 1995.
The Miroz system is a technique developed to fix and rehabilitate broken coral shreds.