Lets talk about a popular issue in terms of nature conservation that is not widely discussed. We are in the high season and diving season already started. Diving, whether for sports or entertainment or scientific purposes, become very popular nowadays. Of course, when performing this activity we intervene nature and have an interaction with other living creatures. As being conscious about nature ethics, outdoor sportsman, researcher or tourist; we should understand and be aware of this fact default. The responsibility for protection of Mediterranean monk seal and other endangered marine species in Türkiye do not belong only to us but also world, it is certainly a universal matter. How lucky we are that this rare marine mammal lives and breeds in our country’s territorial waters and coasts.
Marmara Sea is a unique area in the world surrounded by the lands of only one country. It is a sea with its unique marine and coastal biodiversity, long sandy beaches and dunes, coastal deltas and rocky coasts & cliffs and still undiscovered values. Marmara Sea is also under a huge human use pressure.
In cooperation with Turkish Ministry of Environment & Forestry and Coast Guard and SAD-AFAG, two monk seal pups have been released along the coast between Anamur and Gazipaşa, southern Türkiye, one of the most suitable monk seal habitats in the country in 2nd April 2011.
After having a rehab period of total 105 days, i.e. 3,5 months, two monk seal pups to be released on 2nd April 2011 along the pristine and remote coasts between Gazipaşa (Antalya) and Anamur (Mersin). The release area is among the twelve Important Monk Seal Sites in Türkiye as agreed by National Monk Seal Committee Members coordinated by Turkish Ministry of Environment & Forest. The release shall be participated by Ministry of Environment & Forest, Izmir Province Directorate of Env & Forest, Turkish Coast Guard and SAD-AFAG.
Coast Guard Command and Gendarmery have informed SAD-AFAG about two monk seal (Monachus monachus) pups in 18th December 2010 from Bozyazı region, Mersin and Kas region, Antalya respectively. Meanwhile Mehmet Sarı has informed Ministry of Environment & Forest Mersin District Directorate about the seal pup found in Bozyazı. Upon arrival of SAD-AFAG rescue team on the sites, at 24.00 hours in 18th December and 03.30 hours in 19th December, both seals are met and first interventions were made succesfully by Vet Avni Gök, Ayhan Tonguç and Erkin Tonguç providing ORS. Ministry of Environment staff including a Vet assisted the transport of Mersin seal until Kemer town of Antalya to save time to meet SAD-AFAG rehab team on the half way as well as assisting the ORS application for the pups (see the map below). It is considered that the heavy storm happened in 15th December in the Mediterranean part of Türkiye may cause the seperation of mothers and pups who were found in the same day, 18th December. Both pups are female and estimated as 15-20 days old when they were found on site.