The Red Sea is home to a wide variety of marine life. In addition to its many fish species, we can also find approximately 200 types of corrals, 40 species of sea starfish, 25 species of sea urchin, and 150 species of crabs. The reefs around Israel are a spectacle to behold that attracts many sea photographers. The reefs are easily viewed by taking a short swim from the beach, which increases the development of snorkeling activities all around the shoreline. Many sea turtles arrive to the Israeli shores to lay their eggs both in the Red and Mediterranean Seas. Some species of fish are very specific to the Red Sea and are found nowhere else, such as the Pipe Fish, the Marked Butterfly fish and the Springers Dottybac.

Israel invests a lot of funds into marine research, which is led by several main organizations. One of these is the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) which is located in Haifa and mainly deals in Biology, Biotechnology, Marine Chemistry, oceanography, and marine and coastal geography. This research consistently contributes to the development of new marine technology and is focused on the preservation of marine life. The NIO is part of a national research institution created in 1967 called “Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research” (IOLR) that also includes the Kinneret Limnological Laboratory (KLL) and the National Center for Mariculture (NCM).

Another marine research organization is the Mediterranean Sea Research Centre of Israel (MERCI) which is the result of the combined efforts of seven universities and a few additional marine research centres. Its main goal is to identify new unexplored research areas as well as addressing environmental challenges.

 

The third important organization is the Israel Marine Mammal Research & Assistance Center (IMMRAC). This organization focuses in the study, conservation and rescue of marine mammals that inhabit both the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba. The center also teaches public awareness towards protecting the Israeli marine environment. One of the organization’s key goals is the preservation of various dolphin species in the area. The center has a marine rescue team available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long. And is always ready to assist a dolphin in trouble. Throughout the years the organization has managed to declare a few protected areas along the Israel coastline, in order to protect endangered species and preserve their vital environment support, as well as restrict hunting and fishing to specific times of the year.