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The Sea Report is up!

June 17, 2007

After much anticipation, the Zalul 2007 Sea Report has been released in its English version. You can view it here.

Some highlights:

  • In Israel, over one hundred bodies have permits for releasing sewage, of various types, to the sea and to the rivers.
  • Zalul defined seven regional “high risks” areas in the Mediterranean Sea, in which contaminated sewage is released that constitute a health risk to the public, both as a result from washing in the sea and as a result from ecological injury (eating fish that have pollutants accumulated in their body). The areas are: Nahariya, the Gulf of Acco, the Gulf Haifa, Herzliya, Gush Dan (Tel Aviv), Palmachim and Ashdod.
  • The list of the pollutants that were permitted to be discharged into the sea includes upward of 50 types of different pollutants in excessive amounts, several of which are directly dangerous to people.
  • Of the approved substances permitted to be released to the sea by the Committee on an annual basis are approximately 130 ton of pesticides, 5 tons of arsenic, 15 thousand tons of organic pollutants, 1,300 tons of ammonia, 5 tons of phenol and over a ton of cyanide.
  • The majority of the ammonia is approved for release to the Gulf of Acco, the majority of the phenol is approved for release in Ashdod and the Gulf of Haifa, one-third of the amount of cyanide and one-quarter from the amount of the arsenic are approved to be released along the Gush Dan coastline by means of the Shafdan, about 20% of the approved phosphorous released in the country is released to beaches in Herzliya, and approximately 1,500 tons of barium (75% of the approved barium released in Israel) is approved for release to Palmachim beach near Rishon Letzion.
  • The conditions of the permits and the actual sewage released in the Gulf of Acco was examined and compared. The actual sewage released was found to be dozens to hundreds of percent higher than that which was approved. In spite of this, no measures have been taken to limit this excessive polluting.

In summary, the permits given by the committee to release industrial and municipal wastewater go against the 1983 Barcelona Convention Protocol for the protection of the Mediterranean Sea against pollution from land-based sources.

Read the report for more details.

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