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Gaza official denies reports of sharks

Aug. 2, 2011 6:51 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 3, 2011 7:32 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza official Mahmoud Kabarati on Tuesday denied media reports that sharks had been spotted on the Gaza Strip's coastline.

According to reports in the Israeli media on Tuesday, sharks had ventured near the Gaza shore because of environmental changes in the Mediterranean.

The sharks were attracted by the depth of the water off Gaza's coast and by the large number of fishing boats, the reports said.

Kabarati, who heads Gaza's federation of fishermen and water sports, said the claims were false.

"It is known internationally that water off the coast is deeper in the south which means it is shallower in the Gaza Strip's coasts," he said.

He added that Israel restricted fishing boats to three nautical miles from the coastline, and that Gaza fishermen barely caught any fish.

Most of the seafood in Gaza's markets was either imported from Egypt or bred in local farms.

"Fishermen have not noticed any change off the coast, and thousands of holiday-makers have not reported any shark attack," added Kabarati.

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