You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!

by The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats!
Red Knob Starfish
Red Knob Starfish

The latest government regulations in Israel require that the Aquarium is operates under the 'Green Pass' system. This means that all visitors are required to show proof of vaccination, recovery from Covid, or a negative PCR test (for children over 3 years) before entry to the facility. 

The Aquarium staff are working hard to ensure an easy and smooth entry process for all our visitors.

As part of the efforts to complete and expand the zoological collection of the Aquarium, a large shipment from Kenya brought some new fish, stars, rays and even an octopus.  Included were red knobbed starfish, blue starfish and honeycomb rays.

In the past, we have received our octopuses from Israeli fisherman in the Mediterranean but in the past months, they have reported that all the octopuses seem to have gone done to depths below 50 m, making them more difficult to catch. The fisherman believe that this is a result of rising water temperatures this year, brought on by climate change.

The jellyfish exhibits in the Aquarium received a boost with the arrival of new moon jellies and Japanese sea nettles (Chrysaura pacifica) in a shipment from France.

Visitor viewing jellyfish
Visitor viewing jellyfish
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The Coral Tank
The Coral Tank

One of the most important exhibits at the Gottesman Aquarium is the Coral Tank. This is the only exhibit which has real, live coral, the rest of the tanks having artificial coral displays.

Coral reefs are thought to be the equivalent of rainforests in terms of their importance to the environment, supporting an abundance of sea life.

In the Gulf of Eilat, in Israel's far south, scientists are studying why Israel's corals are proving to be more resilient to ocean warming that elsewhere in the world. The genetic reasons for their ability to survive the effects of global warming could be used to save and rehabilitate other reefs around the world.

The other month, the Aquarium rescued corals from the Red Sea that had been dislodged by construction work in the area and we were able to successfully integrate them into our coral tank. 

Corals are living organisms and it takes time for the interaction between the corals to reach a balance and some ten years for them to grow fully.

The Coral "safe" at the Aquarium allows us to educate the public about ocean conservation and to preserve these precious corals for future generations.

The new corals
The new corals
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Visitors enjoying the re-opened Aquarium
Visitors enjoying the re-opened Aquarium

The Aquarium (and the Zoo) were closed to visitors during the three lockdowns in Israel in March-May, in September-October and again at the end of the year with a third lockdown that started on December 28, 2020.

Overall, there were a total of 119 days of complete closure in the 2020 calendar year.

Happily, the Aquarium was able to re-open on February 21, with limited entries.

This all, of course, has been a devastating blow to our operating budget, being nearly a third of the year with no income. Our expenses remain high, we have fish to care for and exhibitions to maintain. We have made significant efforts to reduce costs as much as possible without compromising on the quality of the services we offer.

As a result of the lockdowns, many of our suppliers were unable to operate due to worldwide travel restrictions.

With the resumption of international flights during the time between lockdowns, we were able to restart our efforts to complete our zoological collection, especially in Tank 15: the Large Red Sea.

In December 2020, one of the first shipments we received was the much awaited blue blubber jellies from Hong Kong to fill the three renovated round tanks.

A huge crowd-pleaser, the jellyfish exhibition also gives us the opportunity to educate our visitors about the dangers of pollution in our oceans: for example, when larger fish confuse plastics and plastic bags for jellyfish and eat them.

The new jellies
The new jellies
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Volunteer diver cleaning one of the tanks
Volunteer diver cleaning one of the tanks

Despite the lockdown and the travel restrictions in Israel, the dedicated team of volunteer divers at the Aquarium has managed to continue its important work in helping to keep the fish healthy and the tanks clean.

The Aquarium has some 50 unpaid volunteers who greatly enjoy their weekly volunteer sessions - especially when our tanks are really the only place you can dive in land-locked Jerusalem!

On October 30, 2020, the Aquarium and Zoo staff will be participating in a special beach clean-up effort at all of Israel's beaches.

The Aquarium, one of whose main objectives is to raise marine environmental awareness, is proud to be part of what is being touted as the 'World's Biggest Beach Clean-Up'!

Keep Healthy, 

Rachael and the Aquarium Team

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New Frogfish
New Frogfish

As a result of the restrictions implemented by the Israel government in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Aquarium was closed to the public on March 15.

It remained closed for nearly two months and reopened with limited entry on May 6.

 

Additionally, specific requirements needed to be fulfilled in order to be able to open under a "purple permit" regulated by the Government. These requirements include a temperature check before entry for visitors and employees, the wearing of masks at all times by visitors and employees, daily health declarations by employees, hand sanitizer and regular disinfection of the public areas of the facility.

 

Entry was limited in the first stage of reopening to 30 visitors per half hour.

(The normal entry rate is 150 per half hour). In the second stage (after June 1) it went up to 100 visitors per half hour.

The entry rate at the moment is still dramatically lower than last year at the same time for a number of reasons; people are still hesitant about going to facilities that are indoors and currently we do not have any school groups visiting as many schools are not functioning as normal yet. Also we are not benefitting from the usual schools' end-of-year trips.

Now the schools have broken up for the year, we are expecting more visitors during the school holidays.

Stay Safe and Keep Well, 

 

Rachael and the Fish Guys

Aquarium Team with masks
Aquarium Team with masks
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Organization Information

The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem

Location: Jerusalem, Israel - Israel
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @BiblicalZoo
Project Leader:
Nicole Wexler
Jerusalem, Israel
$104,172 raised of $150,000 goal
 
359 donations
$45,828 to go
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