The first rule of Israel’s shark club: No selfies

The first rule of Israel’s shark club: No selfies

A frenzy of some 150 sharks is gathered along Israel’s coastline, in the warm water churned out by the Hadera power station. The gathering of dusky and sandbar sharks is an annual phenomenon, but the Israel Nature and Parks Authority says that this year’s swarm is the biggest yet.

Some eager Israelis have set out to snap a selfie-with-a-shark. But the Parks Authority and the Israel Diving Authority are warning divers to stay away.

“Encounters with sharks are uncontrollable and can endanger both the divers and the sharks,” the Parks Authority told the Algemeiner. “This means it is forbidden to harm, disturb, feed or do anything else to them without risking criminal prosecution.”

The authority said that while neither dusky sharks nor their sandbar cousins usually attack people, you never can tell with sharks.

Drone enthusiasts also have been crowding along the beachfront, flying quadcopters — drones with four propellers — equipped with cameras to film this unique sight.

Meanwhile, marine ecologists are trying to figure out why the sharks are even there. Shark populations have been decreasing in the Mediterranean Sea but every winter brings even bigger frenzies to Israel’s shores. Some scientists theorize that the warm water serves up more prey, or that this is a mating juncture.

“We know they like being in the warm waters, but we don’t know exactly why,” marine ecologist Ruth Yahel said. “You can see they’re drawn to the warm water — they enter its stream and perform a rondo-like dance, fly out with the stream, circle around and do it again.”

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