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Environment

Israel aims to reverse Sea of Galilee fish decline

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel hopes to fill the Sea of Galilee with a great multitude of fishes.

Responding to a decline in the number of fish in the Biblical lake -- where the Gospels say Jesus miraculously produced huge catches for his disciples’ nets -- Israel has banned fishermen from trawling the waters for two years.

“This stems from a desire to maintain an ecological balance, preserve water quality and revive fishing which has nearly died out in the Kinneret,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, using the Hebrew name for the Sea of Galilee, said on Sunday.

Announcing details of the moratorium, Netanyahu told his cabinet that fishermen would receive government compensation and the Sea of Galilee would be restocked with fish brought from the outside.

“It’s a matter of concern for me because I used to fish there: the fish was excellent and it’s important to us to continue to enjoy excellent fish and water from the Kinneret,” he said, in broadcast remarks, about Israel’s biggest reservoir.

Writing by Jeffrey Heller, Editing by Mark Trevelyan

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