Beached Shark’s Appearance in Netanya Sets Off Social Media Panic

Shark. (Flash90)

Swimmers off the coast of Netanya on Monday afternoon were shocked to discover the body of a shark that had washed up on the shore – which immediately fueled rumors that a school of sharks could be swimming near Israeli waters. Investigators for the Nature Authority said that it was likely that the shark was a stillborn infant that had been ejected into the water, and was brought to the Netanya shore on currents.

Rumor, fueled by social media, fueled further rumor, with swimmers near Hadera also claiming they saw sharks in recent weeks. According to others, the discovery of a body of a shark or whale on Israeli shores happens at least once a year – which is sufficient reason for people to avoid going into the water, as there are likely more sharks off Israels coast than most people believe, or that the government is willing to admit to.

There are sharks in the Mediterranean, but they generally swim in deeper waters during most of the year. They come closer to the coast during the winter, and are especially fond of the Hadera area, where the waters are warmer due to the activity of the Israeli Electric Company plant there, according to Authority officials, who said that the most likely reason for the appearance of the shark on the shore was that it was transported from deeper waters by a fishing vessel, and dumped closer to shore. The likelihood of a major shark invasion in the summer months was low, the officials added.