Israel-Portugal Joint Issue – Dolphin Research
Issue date April 4, 2017
The diplomatic relations between Israel and the Portuguese Republic developed in stages. An Israeli consulate was first opened in Lisbon in the late 1950’s. After the Carnation Revolution in Portugal in April 1974, this was upgraded to a general consulate and in 1977 to an embassy, the highest indication of full diplomatic relations. Since then the two countries have benefitted from friendly and collaborative relations in many fields.
The Jewish people have ancient ties to Portugal, but the Portuguese Jewish community experienced dramatic changes beginning in the early 15th century: expulsion, forced conversion and the Inquisition. In 1989, a formal apology from the Portuguese people was issued to the Jews and in 1996 the Decree of Expulsion was nullified on the 500th anniversary of its issuance.
During WWII, many Jews passed through Portugal, mostly immigrating to other countries and later also to Israel.
Israel recognized four Portuguese “Righteous Gentiles”. The most well known is Aristides de Sousa Mendes, who issued visas to thousands of Jews while serving as the Portuguese consul-general in Bordeaux, France during the Holocaust. An Israeli stamp was issued in his honor in 1998.
This stamp is issued to mark 40 years of friendship between the countries.
Israeli Ambassador to Portugal
The study of coastal dolphins is a relatively young field of research that has developed in both Portugal and Israel in recent decades. In both countries, the coastal dolphin population exists alongside fishing activity and at times dolphins are caught by fishing equipment, causing them injury and even death. Bottlenose dolphins are top predators of the coastal marine environment in both countries. They are considered to be a sentinel species for a healthy sea, both in the broad sense of the health of the system as well as in the narrow sense of human health, as consumers of food products from the sea.
Common Bottlenose Dolphin
This dolphin species belongs to the family Delphinidae and is most commonly found in tropical to temperate oceans, mainly in the shallow waters of the continental shelf, where water depths are up to 200 meters. Mature dolphins range from 2-4 meters in length and weigh between 150-650 kgs. Dolphins tend to live in groups of up to 12 members, although a number of groups may join together to create a larger super-group of 100 or more dolphins. The two main factors that contribute to group size are food availability and danger from predators.
Dr. Aviad Scheinin, PhD.
Dolphin & Sea Center Manager, IMMRAC – Israeli Marine Mammals Research & Assistance Center
The Morris Kahn Marine Research Center – Top Predators Project manager, University of Haifa, Israel
Photos of the dolphin, boat and flags – Shutterstock.