The recent sharp decline in the number of fish in the Sea of Galilee is the result of poisoning, overfishing, low water level, and birds, according to the Jerusalem Post.  This article by Ehud Zion Waldoks is the best researched piece I’ve seen on the subject.  Two hundred fishermen have licenses to fish, and the decision to ban fishing for two years has them up in arms.  They don’t want government compensation of 2,000 shekels (about $530) a month; they want to fish.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, the number of fish in the lake has dropped significantly in the last decade and especially over the last two years – so much so that there is now a significant chance that Lake Kinneret will cease to have fish in it at all if fishing continues as usual. If that were to happen, it would represent an ecological disaster and negatively affect water quality as well, according to the Water Authority. The Agriculture Ministry has attributed part of the decrease to overfishing and mass poisoning. The drastically lower water level of the lake in recent years has also contributed to the decrease, the Water Authority believes.

The full article is here.