Saving the seas just got easier!

New app enables real-time reporting of sea pollution, fishing violations, endangered fish, and more.

Hillel Fendel ,

Smartphone (illustration)
Smartphone (illustration)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Now you can save the environment while sunbathing or fishing! A new app named SeaWatch has been developed by Israel's Society for the Protection of Nature (SPNI), enabling the instant reporting of various maritime environmental hazards or fishing violations.

The appearance of SeaWatch is particularly welcome, after the last several months have seen too-late reports by citizens of injured sea animals and hazards. The new app, available free of charge, enables real-time reporting of a host of maritime issues.

Among the topics that can be reported via the new app are: River or ocean pollution, the sale of endangered species, illegal fishing, injured mammal or fish, abandoned netting, invasive species, and uncontrolled sewage. A map of all reports can even be easily accessed on SeaWatch.

A recent expert study commissioned by SPNI found that over 100,000 endangered animals, including sharks and rays, are illegally fished in Israel every year. Equally little-known is the fact that four dolphins and 3,000 sea turtles are harmed annually as a result of fishing activity. Over-fishing and harmful fishing methods cause untold damage to the fishing industry and to the environment.

SeaWatch is designed to "improve the ecology of the Mediterranean and enable the public to be a direct part of saving it," says Alon Rothschild, who runs the Biological Diversity department in SPNI. 

Reports of the hazards and the like are also given over to the Ministry of Agriculture, and Rothschild notes that SPNI will issue an annual report tracking the progress made in removing hazards and enforcing the relevant laws.