e-ISSN : 2347-2677, p-ISSN : 2394-0522
Dr. Abdel Fattah N Abd Rabou, Kamal E Elkahlout, Kamal J Elnabris, Hanan M Shurrab, Aya M Almalfouh, Adnan F Baroud, Ibtisam R Alattili, Reem M Alamassi, Mohammed A Abd Rabou, Othman A Abd Rabou, Jehad Y Salah, Sameeh M Awadalah, Wajdi M Saqallah and Mohammed A Aboutair
The geographical location of the Gaza Strip (365 km2) of Palestine in the eastern Mediterranean region makes it a first and important stop for discovering new arrivals of exotic marine creatures or Lessepsian immigrants coming from the Red Sea through the Suez Canal, with the Reef Stonefish is of particular concern. The current study aims to shed light on the rare records of the Reef Stonefish (Synanceia verrucosa Bloch and Schneider, 1801) in the marine ecosystem of the Gaza Strip and its expected risks to Gazans. The current study relied heavily on visits to and contacts with the General Directorate of Fisheries at the Ministry of Agriculture and on social media reports. The Reef Stonefish was recorded as a result of being caught or accidentally caught in the coastal waters of the Gaza Strip for at least five times. In most of the events, the specimens, which ranged from 30 to 40 cm in length, were photographed and some of them were displayed in posts on social media pages. The first record of a single specimen of stonefish was in 2008, although the specimen was not photographed at that time. This is the first record of the Reef Stonefish in the eastern Mediterranean, although some Mediterranean countries recorded specimens of the same fish in their coastal waters after 2010. Other single specimens of the Reef Stonefish were recorded in 2010, 2015, 2018 and 2023 in the Gaza Strip. In fact, it is not surprising that the Gaza Strip preceded the countries of the eastern Mediterranean in recording the first occurrence of the Reef Stonefish, as it is closest to the mouth of the Suez Canal in the Mediterranean. The Reef Stonefish has warty, scaleless skin that is brown or gray, with possible spots of various colors. The Reef Stonefish is known for its highly toxic sting and would pose a potential threat to human health if given the chance to establish a successful breeding population in the eastern Mediterranean. Despite this, no one reported that any of the Gazans or fishermen was exposed to its toxicity.
Pages: 24-28 | 205 Views 131 Downloads