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Zalul in the News: Yariv Abramovich named one of Israel’s 10 most influential environmental leaders

December 31, 2007

Maariv, one of Israel’s most popular daily newspapers, published its annual top ten list of the most influential environmental leaders in Israel for 2007. Among them was Zalul’s very own Executive Director, Yariv Abramovich. What follows is a translation of the Maariv article (check out the Hebrew here):

“Defender of the Reefs: The man who won against the Eilat fish cages”


Accomplishments this year: Moving the fish cages from the Gulf of Eilat. Israel’s Attorney General determined that this ecological disaster must be removed by June 2008, which for Abramovich will signify the end of a long and intensive seven years that proves the environmental struggles require a great deal of patience and funds – and most importantly, Israeli chutzpah. Since 2000, Zalul, in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment and Nature and National Parks Authority, focused on the struggle against the fish cages that cause damage to the coral reefs. The court determined the fish cages were illegal. Abramovich also succeeded in convincing decision makers to disregard the recommendations of the International Science Committee who declared that Jordan was the one responsible for the pollution in the Gulf.

The vision: “Zalul’s two big upcoming projects are arbitration on the subject of ending the discharge of sewage to the sea by the Shafdan (Dan Region Sewage Treatment Facility) and the development of a process for treating the sludge sent to the sea. I hope that before the end of the decade the citizens of Israel will swim in a cleaner sea. We also want to deal with the issue of rivers, because Israel’s rivers are currently nothing but open sewage channels. This is not a one year struggle, but at least three or four years. One of the biggest problems is the plans of the Ministry of the Environment to develop a pipe to bypass pollution from the Kishon River, sending it directly to the sea. The strategic goal of Zalul is to demand that in every instance and location the best available technology (BAT) will be implemented to treat water pollution. If every factory in Europe must do it, that’s the way it should be in Israel too.”

Pay attention: “Until I no longer see the cages in the sea, I will not believe it is over.”

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