We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Native fish of Israel

Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
473 posts
54 reviews
Save Topic
Native fish of Israel

It would be interesting to revive a subject that was touched upon in the marvelous carlos501b thread, a gentleman from India, visiting Israel, who wanted to know where to find pork and lobster.

What are the native fish of Israel? By which I mean what are the fish or seafood either caught in coastal waters, grown on fish farms or caught in the Kinneret?

Where is the Israeli fishing fleet based and what is its size?

Does any fishing take place on the gulf of Aqaba?

Thousand Oaks...
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
11,752 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Native fish of Israel

As far as a visitor consuming a fish that's synonamous with Israel, it has to be the Tilapia, better known as St. Peter's fish. I recall Deck's Restaurant in Tiberias seving a really tasty St. Pete's.

Aqaba and some Egyptian ports have a strong fishing industry with mahi mahi, barracuda, and grouper (among many others) being caught. There is a growing problem in the Red Sea with pollution though.

california
Level Contributor
732 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Native fish of Israel

Hi, Graham,

Probably the most famous native fish in Israel is called "St. Peter's Fish," known in the U.S. and Pacific coast as "Tilapia" or "Sunfish."

It's moniker comes from a New Testament reference to when Jesus' follower Simon Peter had no luck fishing, he told him to cast his net again, and it came up full of fish.

For decades, Kibbutz Ein Gev, located on the eastern shore has owned a fish restaurant where you can dine on St. Peter's Fish.

Bon appetit!

Ric

california
Level Contributor
732 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Native fish of Israel

Dr. Z and I enjoyed a simultaneous posting!

Thousand Oaks...
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
11,752 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Native fish of Israel

Yes, and I noticed my awful spelling of "synonymous" !

Is tilapia also known as sunfish? I've seen sunfish and they don't even remotely look the same.

california
Level Contributor
732 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Native fish of Israel

Perhaps my internet source is inaccurate in describing them as one and the same. I've eaten tilapia here in SoCal in a restaurant, but never gone to a fishmonger to see what it actually looks like.

Haifa, Israel
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem
Level Contributor
4,743 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Native fish of Israel

Is tilapia/St Peter's Fish the same thing as denis?

Avigail

Cincinnati, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
14,530 posts
206 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Native fish of Israel

I don't think so, Avigail -- because I've seen Denis on menus separately from the St. Peter's fish, the Hebrew name for which (obviously not St. Peter's fish!) escapes me right now.

And I think this is a fresh-water tilapia which is not the same as the ocean tilapia that people often get in North American restaurants.

Graham, you open the most interesting gastronomic conversations!

Douglas Duckett

Thousand Oaks...
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
11,752 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Native fish of Israel

I'm getting hungry here.....

Tilapia in Hebrew is Amnon, I believe.

Thousand Oaks...
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
11,752 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Native fish of Israel

I just happened to read some disturbing news of a Kinneret fisherman poisoning the lake over some dispute killing 25,000 + fish.

Authorities are asking people to only buy tilapia from licensed shops.

Has anyone in Israel heard of this story??

The story can be found at onejerusalem.com/2008/…

mid-hudson valley...
Level Contributor
1,280 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: Native fish of Israel

I'm always up for a gastronomic discussion! And for something to google. :)

Here's what I came up with so far, can't vouch for 100% accuracy:

Buri = Mullet

Lavrak = small sea bass

Amnon (St. Peter's) = a small African river fish aka tilapia

Denise = Ocean fish from the Red Sea aka sea bream

I can say with authority that the tilapia we get in the U.S., which I guess is a different species, is nowhere near as tasty as the St. Peter's fish in Israel. In a lot cases it seems what a fish is called makes things more confusing rather than less. An example in the U.S. is that what is called "Red Snapper" is 99% of the time plain ol' rockfish.

For anyone interested in seeing these fish as they are sold -- whole - in the market, Lior from Ashkelon posted some photos on a food forum. You have to scroll down to see them:

forums.egullet.org/index.php…