The Israeli government recently approved a ban on fishing in the Sea of Galilee for two years. Fisherman from around the Galilee will loose much of their livelihoods, though PM Bibi Netanyahu has stated that financial support will be provided for them. The article claims that the tilapia from the Sea is grilled and served in specialty restaurants around the shore, but last time I was in Israel I heard from a fisherman that most of the Tilapia served in the restaurants is actually imported.
Sea of Galilee is out of fish, and miracles
Were Jesus to return and fish the Sea of Galilee today he might tell a parable, not of prolific catches and the sated crowds of biblical times but of empty nets and a hefty fine.
Israel’s parliament is poised to impose a two-year ban on fishing for the famed St Peter’s fish — a type of tilapia indigenous to the Sea of Galilee in the north of the country.
For thousands of years fishermen here have been pulling in the tasty white fish, grilled as a speciality in the restaurants of Tiberias and the villages dotted around the shores of the lake.
Stocks have dropped drastically in the past decade because of environmental and human factors. Annual catches of the St Peter’s fish, which takes its name from the New Testament story in which Jesus’s disciple, Peter, netted a fish with a gold coin in its mouth — and paid his taxes with it — have dropped from 300 tonnes to only 8.
The Government’s decision to ban fishing has angered fishermen and communities that live off the trade. They blame the decline on political mismanagement and a lack of enforcement of existing laws, and fear that a ban could harm the region’s lucrative tourist business, which attracts thousands of Christians from around the world. […]
See also: Israel to ban fishing in the Sea of Galilee (Washington Post)
Source: NT BLOG (Marc Goodacre)