Rare, endangered guitarfish spotted in Gulf of Eilat

September 20, 2022
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Image Source: https://www.israelhayom.com/

A giant guitarfish, also known as the white-spotted wedgefish, was spotted off the coast of Eilat on Thursday. The guitarfish is in danger of extinction and does not pose a threat to human beings.

Everything started when Ofer Bar Yanai entered the water to scuba dive, only to discover the presence of the massive guitarfish, which was said to be over two meters (6.5 feet) in length.

“When I got in the water I saw the guitarfish almost swallow fish bait as it was swimming among the many that had been cast and left in the sea. In recent weeks, we’ve seen several species that have rarely been spotted in the area of Sun Bay Beach [on the northern coast of Eilat], and it’s extremely important to declare the area as a nature preserve to protect these species and others in the future,” said Bar Yanai.

“I reported the spotting to Omri Omasi, the inspector of the Marine Unit at the Nature and Parks Authority’s Eilat region,” he added.

Omasi said: “Guitarfish are almost never seen in the Gulf of Eilat. This time a large guitarfish was spotted. In recent weeks, we’ve received reports and documentation of two types of guitarfish. The guitarfish are in critical danger of extinction in the world due to over-fishing and their size, which can reach up to 3 meters [nearly 10 feet].”

Guitarfish are known for an elongated body with a flattened head and trunk and small, ray-like wings. They are bottom feeders that bury themselves in mud or sand and eat worms, crabs, and clams. Some can tolerate salt, fresh, and brackish water.

Story Source: https://www.israelhayom.com/2022/08/05/rare-endangered-guitarfish-spotted-in-gulf-of-eilat/

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