Huge flats of Perna Perna oysters have been discovered in Haifa Bay

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(live here in the sea) - There is a lot of talk about immigration to Israel, mainly sea and land invaders... fire anemones, jellyfish, zahroni and more... Last Passover (April 2024) due to reasons I will mention later, huge areas of the Perna Perna oyster returned to grow here.

Oyster colony - clinging to any standing and stable object - Perna Perna oysters in Haifa Bay (Photo: Motti Mendelson)
Oyster colony - clinging to any standing and stable object - Perna Perna oysters in Haifa Bay (Photo: Motti Mendelson)

What is a Perna oyster?

This is an oyster up to twelve centimeters in size, which immigrated to Israel several years ago.
Two weeks ago, I came across the requests of a familiar shellfish, but not of the Mediterranean Sea, while diving to suspicious places I came across huge surfaces of paranoid. It was a shock.

A huge colony of Perna Perna oysters in Haifa Bay (Photo: Motti Mendelson)
A huge colony of Perna Perna oysters in Haifa Bay (Photo: Motti Mendelson)

Constant monitoring of the discovery

I immediately forwarded the report to Professor Bela Galil from the Nature Museums in Tel Aviv.
And we started regular monitoring of this oyster. The monitoring also now includes the biotope, nutrition, survival and spread of the oyster colonies throughout Haifa Bay. Researchers around the world know that there is an increase in the prevalence of this oyster, but this time I spotted it for the first time in Haifa.

Measurement method of Perna Perna oyster cluster in Haifa Bay (Photo: Motti Mendelson)
Measurement method of Perna Perna oyster cluster in Haifa Bay (Photo: Motti Mendelson)

Not recommended for food - due to the quality of the water

Oysters feed on food that reaches them with the water currents. Oysters, like sponges, absorb food from the sea and clean it... this is also a reason to spoil the appetite of oyster lovers. I do not recommend eating these oysters, since there is not much meat in them and due to the quality of the water in Haifa Bay - we are not yet the clean Seychelles Islands.

A study that I was recently exposed to shows that from the seventies until today, over thirty thousand people were harmed by eating oysters that were infected with cholera. Fernana as you can see in the photos are beautiful. Let's leave them like that and not touch them.
you have been warned.

Oysters in the current - they feed on food carried by the water current - Parana Parana oysters in the Haifa Bay (Photo: Motti Mendelson)
Oysters in the current - they feed on food carried by the water current - Parana Parana oysters in the Haifa Bay (Photo: Motti Mendelson)

The oyster's patent - foundation threads

The strong waves will not be able to detach the oyster from the rocks and this is because it is moored with the help of very strong grounding wires.

Grounding threads used by the oysters to hold onto the stable surface - Parana Parana oysters in Haifa Bay (Photo: Motti Mendelson)
Grounding threads used by the oysters to hold onto the stable surface - Perna Perna oysters in Haifa Bay (Photo: Motti Mendelson)

Sensitivity to seawater temperature rise

In the winter of this year (2023 / 2024) the water in the Mediterranean Sea was relatively warm compared to previous years and the development of the oysters - ahead. If the water temperature rises above 30 degrees in the summer - the oysters will probably disappear. We will wait, observe them and see.

Mature individuals and next to them young individuals - Parana Parana oysters in Haifa Bay (Photo: Motti Mendelson)
Mature individuals and next to them young individuals - Parana Parana oysters in Haifa Bay (Photo: Motti Mendelson)

artificial reefs

In recent years we have seen the colonization of algae, oysters, sea acorns and reef-building worms... both of these need suitable surfaces for their establishment. But Haifa Bay is mostly sandy. Perhaps some body will initiate the construction of artificial reefs that will allow these animals to establish themselves and thus enrich the ecological diversity in Haifa Bay.

Perna Perna oyster beds on a cluster of rocks in Haifa Bay (Photo: Motti Mendelson)
Perna Perna oyster beds on a cluster of rocks in Haifa Bay (Photo: Motti Mendelson)

Contact Chai here: At watsapBy email

Motty Mendelssohn
Motty Mendelssohn
Marine researcher (diving, underwater photography) and marine and environmental ecology for 35 years. Lecturer in the field for about 20 years. You can order a lecture or a series of lectures accompanied by unique and spectacular photos, taken during many years of research, in Israel and abroad • 050-7271157 • [email protected]

More articles from the same reporter

41 תגובות

  1. Merry Christmas, dear Muti
    I came across these beautiful oysters
    30 years ago on the beaches of Durban and Cape Town
    But such an amount is amazing
    Amazing article!

  2. My dear Motti, how many are your deeds, God, surely you know this magnificent verse of the Psalms, after all, only by looking at nature - do you come to know your Creator, all in wisdom you have made - the earth is full of your treasures! The point is that I ask you to explain - how did this name stick to oysters? I know there is a dangerous predatory fish by that name - is there a connection?

  3. Our dear Moti, thank you very much for another spectacular article with photographs. Fascinating on a subject that interests us all and sea lovers in particular. Your articles are always so thorough, professional and refreshing to us, thank you. You are second to none
    You are one and only in your tremendous knowledge and the wonderful way in which you write and innovate.

    • hello one
      This species of oyster does not produce pearls.
      Otherwise... use your imagination.

  4. Stunning, isn't that great news?? I didn't notice if there was a reference to this.. but happy to see sea creatures and not garbage that fills the sea

    • Hi Yair.
      Thank you very much, indeed I am not so focused at this time...so I limit myself to shallow dives.
      And you are right, there are articles like this one that should come out and it will be longer
      good week

  5. Dear Motti. Thank you for another fascinating article. And this time on land. It's amazing how diverse you are in your articles. Both at sea and on land. Every time surprising and refreshing. How good it is to have you and Aker in these difficult days in Israel
    It is possible to dive into your fascinating articles and get a slight respite from the situation around us

  6. Nice article as usual Muti. I would like to see a measuring tape in one of the photos to show me their size... you wrote up to over 12 cm which is a lot and as they say, seeing eyes is better than hearing ears

    • Hello my uncle, I would have agreed with you before they started feeding the sand...but now the biotope has changed and needs to be fixed.

  7. Your articles enrich the knowledge. Fun to read.
    You mentioned that it is not recommended to eat the oysters.
    What do you think about the poor lebaraks or gombers and gombers, etc. Shouldn't they also be eaten?

    • Hello Sharon
      To your question...eat fish is healthy and there is nothing to worry about.
      I will publish a comprehensive article on fish classification, and warning signs, including photos. Have a good week.

  8. In Thailand, they are used as an addition to omelets. In my opinion, the establishment of new species is related to good souls who "plant" the imported varieties to establish a food supplement in local mariculture.
    You said not to eat them
    But if thousands of people got sick when they eat them and it only reported exceptions, it means that a lot of people eat them
    Maybe fish will eat them too. for health

    • hello mermaid
      Everything is possible, nothing should be ruled out, but in this case... there is nothing to eat in them... and still the improved Haifa Bay is not a beach like those in the Seychelles and people eat mussels
      And every once in a while there are vulnerabilities all over the world...just listen to the ear...the oysters are life filters then..
      good week

    • The pumping process does not cause warming, but only the use of energy for the purpose of pumping... So even when we type here, we waste energy for the computer servers that hold the information of the responses, the charging of the telephone devices, the light that surrounds us in the house, the music that is played, and much more... Everything is powered by electricity generated by gas

  9. Thank you very much. It's always fun to read even though I stopped fishing. It's nice to have someone who keeps you updated on what's going on with the sea

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