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Palmahim Slide

Described by Mission Blue president Dr Sylvia Earle as a “bathymetric irregularity,” Palmahim Slide is a rare geographical formation located 20 kilometres from the sandy coastline of Tel-Aviv, Israeli. Beginning at a depth of 400 metres and reaching to 1,200 metres below sea level, the area is bursting with biodiversity unlike anywhere else in the Southern Mediterranean Sea – despite the fact that little sunlight reaches the seabed there. Methane seeps and deep-water coral gardens present in these waters have made Palmahim Slide a breeding hotspot for a variety of sharks like the Blackmouth catshark and Angular roughshark, as well as a rich habitat for critically endangered species such as bamboo coral. But pressures from offshore gas exploration as well as the fishing industry are an increasing threat to the region. Palmahim Slide was announced as Israel’s first hope spot in June 2022 in recognition of the efforts of marine specialists Hadas Gann-Perkal and Dr. Ateret Shabtay, who aim to safeguard the abundant lifeforms in the area discovered by the research of Haifa University’s Dr. Yizhaq Makovsky.

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