By Rachael Risby Raz - International Relations Advisor
Photo Credit: Amir Sephiria
What is the connection between Passover and Lessepsian migration?
It was not only the people of Israel who crossed the Red Sea, over 300 species of fish, mollusks, jellyfish, crabs, and algae also crossed the Red Sea and passed through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean Sea.
In 1869, the Suez Canal was opened, creating a direct maritime passage between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. This route enabled the migration of species between the seas. The species that came from the Red Sea, accustomed to living in harsher conditions, managed over the years to establish steady populations competing with many native species from the Mediterranean Sea.
The phenomenon is still occurring today. It was named after Ferdinand de Lesseps, the French diplomat in charge of the canal's construction.
In our aquarium, you can see the lionfish (pictured above), the marbled spinefoot, and other Lessepsian migrants.
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