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Harvesting oysters in the Gaza Strip

Five metres below Gaza’s waters are treasures which few have explored

Five metres below Gaza's waters are treasures which few have explored. Palestinian fishermen know the area well, rocks off the Khan Yunis coast which house oysters.

As a diver and photographer, I explore the sea off the Gaza coast and have harvested oysters at a depth of five to 15 metres.

Even Palestinians living in the besieged Strip know little about these treasures which are housed in their waters; many are too busy with their daily struggles and are unable to explore and appreciate their natural surroundings.

I closely monitored the sea life in recent months and began to educate Gazans about oysters. I contacted a number of biologists, as Gaza's divers know that the oysters exist but do not know their types, benefits, or classifications.

Through my communications with scientists abroad, I discovered that these oysters are called Gulf oysters, which live on rocks. The percentage of those containing pearls is low because the seawater is warmer than the Gulf water. In the Gulf, ten per cent of oysters would contain pearls, in Gaza it is far lower, with perhaps two to three per cent of oysters containing the precious commodity.

READ: Israel sends olive oil harvested in occupied West Bank as Memorial Day gift

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