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Red Sea Exploration by Israeli Scientists 1951-2010

by Prof. Lev Fishelson

 The biological research of the Red Sea, executed by famous European explorers, goes back to the XVIII-XVIX century. However, during this period, the littoral habitat of the Red Sea, enclosed between the African and Arabian earth-masses, was hardly studied. The essay "Exploration of the Red Sea by Israeli Zoologists" by the Pioneer Israeli Marine Biologists, Prof. Lev Fishelson, summarizes several Red-Sea expeditions led by Israeli scientists and carried out in cooperation with scientists from various countries. It compiles results collected during these expeditions, focusing on the formation of the littoral area and the marine and terrestrial communities inhabiting this zone.


"After so many expeditions to the Red Sea and years of studies of this sea by Israeli marine biologists and ecologists, the time has come to summarize all these journeys and observations that have so enormously enriched our understanding of both the past and recent ecology of this sea and its gulfs, and the biology and ecology of their animal communities. At the time of writing these lines about 2,000 papers on the Red Sea have been published by Israeli scientists. Concomitantly, international cooperation has been established with numerous scientists and institutions engaged in similar topics in various countries. The establishment of the H. Steinitz Marine Research Laboratory at the Gulf of Aqaba in Eilat constituted the first Israeli center for Red Sea studies, with subsequent frequent and numerous visits by foreign scientists. Of special importance were the expeditions to the southern Red Sea as well as around the Sinai Peninsula. These visits to the various sites served too to strengthen our recognition of the unique serial communities of fauna and flora of the Red Sea, and our commitment to promoting their preservation…..”