INPA to Feed Migrating Pelicans to Save Them From Fish Breeders

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority will provide migrating pelicans with enough fish to sustain them, under a deal reached yesterday to keep fish breeders from killing the birds.

Fish breeders have been shooting at pelicans hunting for food in Hula Valley fish ponds, often either killing them or causing them to get electrocuted on high-tension wires.

"We hope that the fish will be provided immediately so all the pelicans currently stuck in Israel, some 2,000 to 3,000, will be able to continue southward toward Africa," said Dan Elon, who runs the Israel Ornithological Center.

The deal was reached after the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel asked Environmental Protection Minister Gideon Ezra to take immediate action.

"Some 2,000 pelicans are currently in the Hula Valley, Hof Hacarmel and the Acre region, and are invading the fish ponds in the absence of another alternative for food," SPNI director Gershon Peleg wrote to Ezra and Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon. "Every day increases the pelicans' hunger and their potential for being harmed. In the Hula Valley, the breeders have taken the law into their own hands, and since Yom Kippur they have fired at dozens of pelicans, and are still shooting at them, contrary to the law and contrary to international treaties signed by the Environmental Protection Ministry and the Foreign Ministry."