Photo Credit: Chen Leopold / Flash 90
Jellyfish on Netanya beach. (archive)

Thousands of jellyfish have been streaming this week into the filters of Hadera’s Orot Rabin Power Station, somehow mistaking January for June, July or August.

But Hadera wasn’t the first stop: last week the jellyfish swarms swam their way into Ashkelon’s Rutenberg Power Station, also on the Mediterranean coast.


Coastal power stations use sea water to cool their production systems; swarms of jellyfish who happen to be passing by are easily sucked into the filters.

“The jellyfish build up in the power station’s filters, which prevent them from entering the operational systems,” the Israel Electric Company said in a statement quoted by Ynet. “They are then disposed of in designated containers. This allows the power stations to maintain regular electricity supply operations.”

The issue of jellyfish clogging the filters of coastal power plants is not new. But seeing thousands of the creatures streaming into power plant filters in the dead of winter, as opposed to their usual summertime swim, is indeed an exception to the rule.

According to Dr. Uri Fried, a marine ecologist at Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority, told Ynet last week that the unusual appearance of jellyfish in winter, rather than summer, may be due to rising water temperature in the Mediterranean, or a different timing of the temperatures.

Nevertheless, Fried added, “Those who spend time at sea do see jellyfish (in winter). Usually, these are very large individuals and very small swarms,” he said.

This past summer, the beaches were almost completely free of jellyfish; we have yet to see whether that will be true this coming year as well.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.