Nature and Parks Authority, Coast Patrol volunteers authorized to move corals from external pollutants in efforts to protect natural treasures and marine life

Ilana Curiel|06.28.23 |

Twelve Coast Patrol volunteer divers have become the first volunteer unit charged with rescuing red corals in the Gulf of Eilat after a special training course by the Nature and Parks Authority.

The organization, which takes care of Israel’s marine environment, was established just two years ago and already includes many marine nature enthusiasts.

צוללי סיירת החוף בפעולה במפרץ אילת
Coast Patrol volunteer divers
(Photo: The Coast Patrol)

The Nature and Parks Authority (NPA) after recognizing the potential of volunteers, trained them to remove corals entangled in underwater debris in order to protect the valuable red corals. “It is a complex operation that requires professional knowledge,” explained Asaf Habary, the director of the Eilat region at the Nature and Parks Authority. “Its main goal is to rescue the corals and ensure their well-being,” he said adding that the Gulf of Eilat had seen a significant amount of marine debris accumulated over the years.

מנקים את הים ומצילים אלמוגים. אנשי סיירת החוף בפעולה
Cleaning the sea off the coast of Eilat
(Photo: The Coast Patrol)

“Clearing the trash sometimes requires detaching and rescuing corals that have settled on the waste,” he explained. “The Coast Patrol have professional divers, and all we had to do was train them to handle protected natural values. We have the knowledge and authority to perform such an operation, so we provided them with professional training for this complex task,” he said.

אחד הצוללים בפעולה
(Photo: The Coast Patrol)

“Transferring corals underwater is a complex and important task, as the main goal is to preserve the corals and ensure their well-being. It required extensive preparations, so we provided training that included instructions on handling the corals and the professional techniques for their removal without harming them,” he said.

סיירת החוף עם צמיגים שהוציאו במהלך אחת הצלילות בעבר
Coast Patrol members
(Photo: The Coast Patrol)

Joseph Segal the founder of the Coast Patrol, said his group of volunteers are a citizen-based marine force that assists the Nature and Parks Authority in preserving the marine environment along Israel’s coasts. As part of their jobs, they also conduct dives to remove rubber tires that pollute the seabed of the Gulf of Eilat.