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Israeli Fish cages leaving Eilat gulf, but delays possible

ISRAEL - After several years of arguments, the disputed fish cages are now being removed from the Gulf of Eilat. However, it is unclear whether they will be gone by the end of 2008, as had originally been planned: Raanan Dinur, the director general of the Prime Minister's Office, has asked the attorney general to give the cages a two-year extension.

The Environment Ministry reported yesterday that the fish-farming firm Ardag removed 10 percent of its cages over the past few days. The firm is supposed to remove the remainder over the next 18 months. Ardag has about 60 cages in the gulf, of which 35 contain fish, according to the Environment Ministry.

The cabinet decided a year and a half ago to remove the fish farms from the gulf, due to concerns that the fish droppings would harm the coral reefs there.

The cabinet decision requires the two firms raising fish in the gulf, Ardag and Dag Suf, to decrease the number of cages and the amount of food given to the fish by one-third each year.

Source: Haaretz.com

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