(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) The beaches of Israel have been designated as an important habitat for dolphins by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The IUCN, widely considered the world's most authoritative international entity in the field of nature protection, is known for its "red lists" of endangered species.
Israel was one of 26 spots in the Mediterranean region named as being of importance to marine mammal life after a yearlong scientific process conducted by the IUCN. The process involved convening a panel of experts that included representatives from every Mediterranean country. Israel was represented by Dr. Aviad Scheinin, director of the Dolphin and Sea Educational Center in Ashdod, which is run by the Israel Marine Mammal Research and Assistance Center nonprofit and the Morris Kahn Marine Research Center at the University of Haifa.
"This makes Israel proud. We are a beam of light in the total darkness of an absence of information about marine mammals in the eastern and southern Mediterranean," Scheinin said.