Every winter, dozens of sharks gather near the marine outlet of the Orot Rabin power plant in Hadera, where the station’s hot water is discharged into the sea.
A number of Israeli entities, including the Nature and Parks Authority, the Hadera Municipality, Nahalim for the development of Hadera tourism, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, the Ecohushan Association, the Morris Kahn Marine Research Station, Sharks in Israel, and the Sports Diving Authority of the Ministry of Culture and Sport, have joined together to operate a professional information station, which will be operated close to the shark observation area for the benefit of visitors who come to see this special natural wonder.
The sharks arrive in packs of 20 to 30. One species, the dusky shark, is about 12 feet long and weigh about 770 pounds. The other, the sandbar shark, is smaller: about 7.5 feet long and weighs about 220 pounds. Both species are at the risk of extinction.
According to Yigal Ben Ari, director of the marine unit at the Nature and Parks Authority, sharks in the Mediterranean are becoming depleted because of over-fishing and unintentional harm from fishing vessels.
“In Israel sharks are a protected natural asset. They are of great importance in maintaining marine ecosystems. Being carnivores, they dilute the number of weak and slow animals in the system, thereby strengthening other species and the entire marine environment,” Ben Ari said.
Sharks should not be harmed or harassed and should not be thrown food, since this disrupts their natural way of life and may create for them a link between humans and food. Needless to say, one should not chase them in the water, because, like any wild animal, a shark’s behavior may be unpredictable. A safe distance must be maintained. Diving in a shark-infested area is not recommended.
The information and shark observation station will operate from December 1 through April, every Saturday, between the hours of 10 AM and 3 PM, except on rainy days. Turn west at the Olga interchange and from there drive to the Hadera Stream Park’s parking lot, south of the power station.