Projects

ONGOING PROJECTS

1. SEAL-WATCH V

Monitoring and observation of Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) along Turkish coasts using in-cave infra red cameras sensitive to movements, the project is carried out by the Underwater Research Society – Mediterranean Seal Research Group (SAD-AFAG). Seal-Watch V is actually the 5th phase of this long term and successful project which was awarded by  Van Tienhoven Foundation (the Netherlands) in April 2012 and ended in December 2013. However, SAD-AFAG decided to continue the project with SAD-AFAG’s its own limited resources. In 2014 and 2015 the project progresses with new targets. Since SAD-AFAG has obtained unprecedentedly successful results from the project, it is considered vital to continue the project in order to ensure 1- to protect the existing coastal habitats using the resultant data and information, and 2- to determine updated habitat range of the species and identified individuals of the population along Turkish coasts. Total number of caves is 7 that was targeted during the project running. Now, the 8th cave, as another potential monk seal cave in Marmara Sea, was added by SAD-AFAG, and for the very first time in the history of monk seal research in the world, monk seals were observed and monitored in this selected cave and documented in the Sea of Marmara directly by researchers.

Monk seals were observed and monitored by the infra red cameras deployed in 7 caves out of 8 caves targeted in the project, which indicates overall 87.5 success rate. 5 monk seals out of 7 were individually identified and named, all new individuals for the conservation community, as compared to the existing monk seals identified to date in the country. The selected locations where monk seals are observed and monitored via a non-intrusive technique are (from the north to the south) Karabiga, Foça, Karaburun, Alaçatı, Seferihisar, Kalkan, Kekova and Gazipaşa.

The objectives of this project are to determine and update the reproductive status of the Mediterranean Monk Seal along the Aegean and Mediterranean coastal stretches of Turkey, to individually identify and catalogue them, and to protect its habitat against destruction by coastal development and pressure by tourism, which is the major threat in the recent years. With the photo and video images considered as scientific proofs, monk seal distribution range and habitat use information is a very useful and powerful tool in struggling against habitat destruction threat.

The Mediterranean Monk Seal is listed as Critically Endangered since 1996 (IUCN), with a world population of approximately 700 individuals. Its distribution in the world is concentrated in only four countries; Turkey, Greece, Portugal & Mauritania. It is estimated that Turkey has a population of 100 individuals. The total length of Turkish coastline, including its islands, is 8.500 km. The majority of the islands and reefs which provide crucial habitat for the survival of the species is located along the Turkish Aegean Sea and Mediterranean coasts.

Some activity images and project results can be seen in this link.

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2. MONK SEAL INFORMATION AND RESCUE NETWORK (AFBIKA) 
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AFBIKA was established by SAD-AFAG with the support of REC-Türkiye in 1998 in order to collect updated information about sick, injured or orphaned monk seals along Turkish coasts through a network specially established for this purpose. It was first established along the Mediterranean coasts of the country in order to have reliable data regularly on diseased, injured, dead and alive seals to take immediate actions needed. AFBIKA was supported by the network members who voluntarily contribute to AFBIKA, and also fishery cooperatives, sailors, local people, Turkish Coast Guard and divers. The project is a long term one and therefore is considered as a program rather than a project.
3 monk seal pups were rescued, rehabiliated ex-situ and released back to wild life successfully and some other monk seals were medically treated and/or monitored after releasing back to sea by SAD-AFAG teams including let pups and mothers to meet after separation due to natural causes, such as storms and drifting etc.

Collecting the data from people having great probability to witness monk seal(s), who are in close contact with sea or coasts  is very important, and therefore the were selected as the target group in this project. Mediterranean monk seals in Turkey

Fishermen, sailors and local people as well as Turkish Coast Guard are the main groups supporting the project. All the information and sighting data are received by SAD-AFAG through +90 533 488 5858 which constantly operational under AFBIKA Program. The information can be about sick, injured or orphaned monk seals as well as live or sometimes dead monk seals.

GSM: + 90 533 488 5858 (on 7/24 basis)

For further information the following links may be visited;

http://www.sadafag.org/eskisayfa/english/index.php?bolum=haber&id=202

http://www.sadafag.org/eskisayfa/english/index.php?bolum=haber&id=199

http://www.sadafag.org/eskisayfa/english/index.php?bolum=haber&id=197

http://www.sadafag.org/eskisayfa/english/haber.php?id=172

http://www.sadafag.org/eskisayfa/english/haber.php?id=161

http://www.sadafag.org/eskisayfa/english/haber.php?id=158

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9_R7ujRBrg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MolDeS241jg

 

ONGOING PROGRAMS

1. MONITORING OF IMPORTANT MONK SEAL SITES of TÜRKİYE

It is a data base Project in which all the Mediterranean monk seals’ watching records have been gathered since 1987. The data base entitled to “FOKDATA” includes over 1500 records and it is an important Project in terms of designating protection priority in Türkiye and the project shows the current range of species of the Mediterranean monk seals. This Project will continue as long as the Mediterranean monk seals continue to survive along Turkish coasts.

2. ADOPT A SEAL RAISING PUBLIC AWARENESS AND FUNDING PROJECT

Conceptually, the project was developed by SAD-AFAG and funded within the WWF Across the Waters Program in 1998 ” Adopt a Mediterranean Monk Seal” project has been executed successfully up to now to create public awareness.

For the advertisement of the Project, NTV broadcasted preliminary announcement so that the Project was heard by the crowd of people. The press conference was made by the participation of the Environment Minister of his time, Ms. İmren Aykut. As a result of those preliminary announcements, new members, many of whom were from the big cities were gathered. Hence, the voice of the monk seals was heard by more people and public awareness was raised.

The Project was conducted by N. Ozan Veryeri from Ankara Coordination Office. As part of the Project, a journal was issued named as “Your child in water: Mediterranean Monk seal” and sent to those who adopt a seal.
Turned into a program in 2000, Adopt A Mediterranean monk seal program has been still lastingexcept the membership of AFAG since then. In time, small Childs and the youngs have been thought therefore; the program developed new groups such as “Adopt a seal brother”. The program which was conducted successively by Ozan Veryeri, Yeşim Çağlayan, Yeşim Aslan, Nagehan Konukçu and Işıl Filipuçi, and finally by the Communication Officer Elif Tertemiz in Ankara.

COMPLETED PROJECTS

1. FOÇA PILOT PROJECT (Project running 1993-1998 and Project monitoring 1999-2004)
“Foça Pilot Project” is the first long-termed project of marine-coastal areas and protection of Mediterranean monk seal applied in Türkiye. The Project was accepted by the National Seal Committee in 1991. It was begun in 1992 by AFAG and Foça Local Seal Committee with the help of Foça Municipality.
As part of the Project, the first civil marine inspection vessel named as ‘ÇEVRE’ controlled Foça and niche in order to prevent the illegal fishery methods. What’s more, the observation data collected by means of the fishermen, the common people and the directly observed data from field have been downloaded into the data-base program called as “FOKDATA”. By means of these direct observation records, we found out the coast lines and islands where Mediterranean monk seals mostly lived and we were able to designate the protection priorities.
Thanks to the effectively usage of marine inspection vessel named as “ÇEVRE”, the illegal fishery methods around (trawler, trata, purse-seiners) have decreased in comparison with the past. Actually the common movement just before the FPP started caused the brave action by Municipality to remove all trata fishing vessels from Foça. The trata boats were turned into tour boats. Today the artisanal fishermen in Foça fish more aqua products in comparison with the past and fishery in Foça has been still seen as a professional job. As the Foça Pilot Project completed its firstly designated role, Foça marine protected area, from Aslan Cape in the north to Deve Boynu Cape in the south has been enlarged in 2007 through proposal and lobbying by SAD AFAG. Covering Karaburun Peninsula and Alaçatı – Doğanbey coasts the broader region is called as “Aegean Program” by AFAG.

2. STATUS OF MEDITERRANEAN MONK SEALS AND HABITAT IN BODRUM
PENINSULA AND ISLANDS (1996-1997)
The research project, funded by UNDP-GEF, on Mediterranean monk seals’ situation and habitat in Bodrum Peninsula and Islands was carried out by Yalıkavak Human, Nature and Environment Group and Yalıkavak Civil Government between the years 1995-1996. The aim of the Project was to designate habitat of Mediterranean monk seals in Bodrum peninsula and islands and to attract the attention to the danger of their extinction. During the application, Yalıkavak Human Nature and Environment group worked with AFAG. They issued a journal and delivered this largely to the local people. SAD –AFAG collected data about habitat of the monk seals and their population and the threatening factors  for the species. They also made a contribution to the raising of public awareness.
Again as part of the same Project, by the end of 1997, oil pollution was prevented successfully with the assistance of private sector, local foundations, non-governmental organizations, government and international protection organizations. (Prince Bernhard Fund for Nature, Netherlands, Seal Rehabilitation Research Centre, Netherlands and Henry Ford European Conservation Awards)

4. AFAG MEDITERRANEAN PROGRAM – CILICIA PROJECT (1998–2002)
    Mediterranean Program was initiated during the period when cooperation between SAD AFAG and Middle East Technical University-Institute of Marine Science was achieved between 1998 and 2002.  The Cilicia  Project group merged with AFAG in 1998 and formed the AFAG Mediterranean Program. Cilicia Project Study area lays over mountainous Cilicia or named as Taşeli in Turkish, coast line which is between Mersin Taşucu, and Antalya Gazipaşa. The main target of the Project is to prevent the extinction of the species by abolishing the local reasons and informing local people in order to make them love seals more.
      As part of the Project, about 20 seals were characterized in the region, infrared detectors and automatic cameras were placed in the caves where the seals lived. In order to make people conscious, communication and presentation Office was opened in Bozyazı. In the same area, with the aim of increasing the stocks of fish, Cilicia Project group closed the important areas where the seals lived against trawler and purse-seiners fishing  by the assistance of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
     In the very first years of the Project, all the coast line was scanned and habitat of the monk seals was designated. At the end of these studies, application was done in 1998 to Ministry of Culture, Cultural and Natural Assets Protection Council of Adana and the proposal was accepted to announce the relevant coastal areas as the first degree protected area (SIT). Furthermore, on Ocean’s Day, these areas were announced as Türkiye’s Gift to the world by WWF.

5. FOÇA PILOT PROJECT MONITORING AND EVALUATION (1998-2002)
 

6. SEAL-WATCH PROJECTS (Phases I, II, III, IV between 1997 and 2003)
– Seal-Watch Project I: Foça Orak Island (1997)
– Seal-Watch Project II: Bozyazı (1998-1999)
– Seal-Watch Project III: Karaburun (2000)
– Seal-Watch Project IV: Ayibaligi Cave (2001-2003)
The first seal watch project was implemented in 1997. It mainly aimed at gaining information about the behaviours of Mediterranean monk seals in caves and especially to get information about the relationship between mother and pups.
The Project Team composed of Yalçın Savaş, Harun Güçlüsoy, Ozan Veryeri, Cem Kıraç, Nuray Güven Veryeri, Ali Cemal Gücü, Hasan Trek, Ahmet Bolat from SAD-AFAG team. Seal Watch Project Phases I, II, III and IV have been conducted in Foça, Karaburun and Bozyazı starting from 1997 until 2003.

With the aim of observing, infrared sensitive TV cameras and infrared light sources were placed into the caves that were designated as part of the Project and an observation study was implemented on Mediterranean monk seals without causing them perceive anything. The study first implemented in Foça, Orak Island. Later, it was repeated in Bozyazı and Karaburun. With the assistance of Van Tienhoven Foundation and Prince Bernhard Nature Protection Foundation, the Scientific and Technological Council of Türkiye, it was implemented again in Karaburun seal cave in 2003.

As part of the project, five monitors, five cameras, one multiplexer and four infrared light sources were used. The system was taken under maintenance in order to be renewed again in 2003. Project became really successful. After the project was completed, the obtained information was shared with both the Ministry of the Environment and Science and Conservancy Community via reports and scientific articles prepared by SAD-AFAG team.

7. OIL SPILL CLEAN UP OPERATION – CONSERVATION OF MONK SEAL HABITATS IN GUMUSLUK, CAVUS ISLAND (1996-1997)
 
   There are three coast caves which are suitable for seals habitat in Çavuş Island. Many varieties of birds can also be observed in the same area. The pollution in Çavuş Island was first discovered on 22, September, 1996 at the time of the study of SAD-AFAG named as ‘Research Project’ about Bodrum Peninsula and Islands, habitat of Mediterranean monk seals and their situation. Just after this event, at the end of the inquiry made by local fishermen, the captain of the rescue boat and a group of local people, it was learned that a cargo boat with Türkiye flag was stranded in Türkiye in the summer of 1996. The captain of the cargo boat refused the help of the rescue boat Orcan-1; he insisted on waiting the ship which would be sent by the company in İstanbul so the cargo boat stayed there for two days. According to the witnesses, the name of the boat was Karaköy-I, and the ship which would help it to come afloat arrived there two days later. During these days, oil waste was got out to the sea. As nobody complained about the situation to the concerned organization, no one was aware of the event. Moreover, the company refused the sponsorship for the cleaning study which would be performed by SAD-AFAG. By realizing how dangerous the pollution is for the living things, AFAG informed the matter to the concerned associations and sent a sample to be analyzed. Although all the concerned institutions were informed, none of them attempted to clean the pollution so SAD-AFAG undertook this heavy responsibility.
  At the preliminary stage, the Project was initiated by Holland SRRC and the donation was made by the Prince of Holland Bernard. Then, French Association Floch, Cedre (France) and Industry of Mykall and Bp from Türkiye supported and helped the cleaning of this pollution. Due to the limited staff, money and bad weather condition, only seven tons of the oil pollution could be cleaned.
  But AFAG never gave up, at the end of successive meetings with the Ministry of Environment and the lobby actions, the Minister visited this region. Later they decided to clean this area and made out the necessary money. SAD –AFAG executed the Project including the cleaning of 130 tons of oil and they were carried to the Turgutreis garbage heap. The rock cliffs that were covered with thin-layer were washed with pressurized water. This study was seen worthy for the second rank by National Jury of “Henry Ford European Conservation Awards Competition in 1997”.

8. BLACKSEAL RESEARCH PROJECT ON MEDITERRANEAN MONK SEALS AND HABITAT IN THE BLACK SEA (1997)
The condition of Mediterranean monk seals on the Black Sea coasts have remained as a secret for years. As a result of the interviews made by the local fishermen, we have realized that the number of Mediterranean monk seals has decreased since 1980. According to the researches made in 1994, we have learnt that they no longer live around Ereğli. Despite the information about this recession, we had no certain information about the presence of the seals on the central Black Sea coasts.
In years 1993, 1995 and 1997 along the coast line between Akçakoca and Trabzon, a research study was started on designating the population of Mediterranean monk seals, which can be rescued by means of immediate protection studies.  Although about fifty suitable caves were found in uncorrupted rocky coasts in order for Mediterranean monk seals to breed and rest, we did not encounter any trace of existing monk seal. During the diving, we observed and found surprising findings; there was very little number of them in the Black Sea.
According to the information obtained, it was obvious that monk seals were a declining species. As a result of our studies, in contrast to the Aegean Sea coasts, in the Black Sea coasts, destruction of the habitats  or tourism had no noteworthy impact on the decrease of the seals. However, the factor in that region was that the seals were killed for different reasons or they were hunted as alive for the purpose of demonstration. Even today, villagers living between Akçakoca and Sinop have remembered that they or their fathers boiled skin of the seals and got olive oil. They sometimes sold their skin to the factories around. According to the sayings in the villagers of the region, the misery years between 1940 and 1950 made the villagers hunt the seals because they made shoes from these skins.
   As a result of the studies, we could not find any trace of live seal. Between 1993 and 1997 in side Doğanyurt,Cide and Sinop coasts where the seals were mostly seen, we lost our hope because even in there was no sign of observed seals. In 2001 Cem O. Kıraç went to the Black Sea Region for a TV documentary and interviewed with the fishermen whom he had interviewed before. And he learnt that in the last four years he didn’t encounter any seals or even any tears on the net. He asked in great despair what the public authorities or scientists had done for that matter. http://www.monachus-guardian.org/mguard08/08editor.htm

9. SEAL-INFO MEDITERRANEAN SEALS NATIONAL INFORMATION PROJECT (1998)
   In 1998, WWF (World Wildlife Foundation) Accross the Water Program supported a new ground in Turkiye. As part of the Mediterranean Monk Seal Information Project a book entitled to “Mediterranean Monk Seal Monachus Monachus, Its Importance and Conservation” was distributed to our governorships, Sub-Governorships and Municipalities. Living in our coasts Mediterranean monk seals are one of the sixth rarest kind of the mammals in the world live. It is a good guide book which will give an idea about the precautions which will be taken about this rare species’ biology, habitat and conservation.
   Thanks to this Project which was supported by the Turkish Ministry of Environment, the governors, sub-governors and municipalities were informed about the monk seals which are in danger of extinction. The above mentioned authorities are key in decision making and monitoring for coastal development and conservation issues and they were informed about what they could do for the marine & coastal environment through the publication under this project.
10. CAPACITY EXPANSION OF LOCAL NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION’S FROM PHOKAI TO KNIDOS (1998-1999)
  SAD-AFAG, as a national non governmental organization, cooperated along with three local non-governmental organizations which aim at protecting their coasts in this Project. Their aim was to make capacity expansion. During the Project which was held by Yalçın Savaş, Türkiye Nature Protection Society in Foça, Local Agenda 21 in Karaburun and environmental societies in Datça worked together. These local non-governmental organizations were informed about protecting the nature therefore they become aware of the environmental problems of their region and environmental education they will get. By means of SAD-AFAG, exchange of information was occured in national and international scale.

12. SOCIA-ECONOMICAL AND ECOLOGICAL IMPPORTANCE OF SMALL MARINE PROTECTION ZONE
13. INFORMATION AND EXPERIENCE EXCHANGE PROGRAM (2002)
   This program, was formed among the establishments that conduct habitat projects in Mediterranean countries in order to benefit from their experiences and was organized by World Nature Foundation, “across the waters”. As part of the program, SAD-AFAG was one of host organization. In 2002 between 14 and 22 October, a group of people who were members of the Seal Protection Group in Crotia, visited Foça and Karaburun. Croatian monk seal conservationists were given information and seminars on the studies managed by AFAG and the methods used by Harun Güçlüsoy and Yalçın Savaş.

14. 
BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY, PROTECTION AND MANAGEMENT OF SENSITIVE AREA:FORMING A MEDITERRANEAN NET (2002–2003)
  As part of European Union’s short and medium- run action plan, the budget of SMAP program entitled to “Biological Diversity, Protection and Management of Sensitive Area: Forming a Mediterranean Net” Project was held by AFAG in Türkiye under the Chairmanship of World Nature Foundation (MEDPO) on Mersin, Aydıncık, İzmir, Foça and Karaburun coasts between the years 2002-2003. As part of the Project, study was held on the structural and financial support of artisanal fishermen Cooperatives; financial support and office equipment were provided for them. The debts of the cooperatives were paid. Fridge, computer, telecopy and furniture were provided and hence their capacity was expanded. Besides these, studies such as sustainable fishery, cooperation with the marine and coastal habitat conservationists continued. As part of the project, it was provided to work with the cooperatives on such subjects as preventing and decreasing illegal and over fishing, protecting the local fish stocks.
  As part of SMAP, a non- governmental organization in Türkiye first bought a boat by donation and after the protocol with the government, they gave the use of the boat to Aydıncık Sub-Governorship so that a self policing system was formed. The user of the boat which is still in use is Aydıncık Fishery Products Cooperative Society. SAD-AFAG  organized habitat education program in primary and secondary schools and the  project had very important output. A positive contribution for artisanal fishermen who have close interaction with Mediterranean monk seals was taken so these contributions were announced to the public by means of published reports and articles.
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15. PARTICIPATION OF LOCAL PEOPLE TO THE CONSERVATION OF COASTAL AND MARINE ECOSYSTEM IN FOÇA AND KARABURUN (2003)
In Foça and Karaburun it was aimed to create public awareness on environment protection. PA-EE materials were designed and printed to distribute them to local people and attract their attention. Printed materials were prepared about protection of the marine and coastlines and about the fishery and the problems related to the fishery for the fishermen, students, local people During the Project held by Nuray and Ozan Veryeri, education studies was sometimes given out of doors, on coasts, beaches and sometimes at school in order for the next generation to become environment-conscious.

16. COMMUNICATION NETWORK AMONG ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS (2003-2004)
A Project offer was made about forming non governmental organizations’ communication network by United Nations Development Fund, Global Environment Fund and Small Reform Program. We were the householders of this communication network. It was aimed to share information and experience among all the non governmental organizations’ members that take support from GEF/SGP . The Project started in 2003. We were responsible for both controlling and developing the Project and preparing a journal and organizing the meetings as part of the Project. During the Project held by Yeşim Çağlayan, experience was shared with the other non-governmental organizations and they worked altogether.

 

17. BRIDGE PROJECT (2005–2006)

As SAD-AFAG, we started a common study whose fund will be provided from the European Union, named as ‘Bridge with the Hellenic society for the protection of monk seals(mom) ”who has continued the studies in Greece since 1998 in order to make the species live longer. The fund will be provided by European Union. The common target was to share the information and experience provided during protection of Mediterranean monk seals and coastlines that was organized commonly by the two non-governmental organizations. The other target was to prepare new projects that will stop the gaps in order to prevent or minimize the factors that cause Mediterranean seals’ extinction and implement these projects in cooperation with SAD-AFAG and MOM. As part of the Project, four of our friends went to Greece (Harun Güçlüsoy, Yalçın Savaş, Yeşim Aslan, and Uğur Yolak). These four people got detailed information about firstly the Natura 2000 and then about especially environmental legislation, financial resources, public relations; financial and Project management used by nature protection organizations and we prepared a common Project with MOm.

19. CONSERVATION & MONITORING OF MEDITERRANEAN MONK SEAL (Monachus Monachus) in FOÇA SPECIAL ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AREA

Mediterranean monk seals haven’t been monitored regularly since 2002 in Foça. Within the context of this project, protection, conservation and monitoring of endangered monk seals, protection of whole coastal and marine ecosystem and regulating fishery having minimum impact on marine and coastal ecosystem developing sustainable principles were studied. The overall target of the project was to protect the coasts, marine and island ecosystems of Foça and biodiversity as a whole accepting endangered Mediterranean monk seal as a symbol.

The project started in May 2008 and was completed in December 2008. In addition, a book entitled ” Foça and Mediterranean Monk Seal, Conservation and Monitoring of the Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus Monachus) in Foça Special Environment Protection Area” was published.

At the end of the project, it was concluded that the pressure of excessive and unplanned tourism, coastal development, illegal fishing and overfishing were all factors contributing decline of the species. Moreover, lack of sufficient scientific data on the biodiversity and absence of comprehensive management planning for the sustainable development and conservation of habitat and species in Foça SEPA were among the problems.

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20. FOÇA SEPA CARRYING CAPACITY PROJECT
It is aimed with this project to determine the service capacity of the coast lines and environment conservation zone of Foça in terms of the marine vessels, sea traffic, fishery, tourism, second residential estate and daily usage. It is also aimed to make scientific research and to prepare the suggestions for the Foça Special Environment Conservation Zone Plan studies. The suggestions will be prepared for safety of navigation and protection of the environment in order to determine the maximum number of the marine vessels that will anchor, their size, anchorage areas, routes, sea traffic and marine areas and dispose of the liquid and solid wastes. Besides; fishery, tourism, second residential estate and daily usage areas and their effects on the sea and coast line will be designated and the  precautions will be presented to Foça Special Protection zone as an input.
According to the above-mentioned context, physical, ecological, socio-demographical, political and economical components will be identified. During the analysis, synthesis and evaluation period, the collected data will be used. In this context, usage and warnings around Foça chairmanship of EPASA; which is shown below will be considered;
1. All kinds of information and data about the subjects under the topic of ‘agenda’ will be collected and analyzed.
2. The habitat of the seals (reproduction, food, sheltering) will be bounded and drawn to a scale of 1/5000 map.
3. The usages which put pressure on seal habitat will be drawn to a scale of 1/5000 map.
4. Anchoring, sheltering and bunkering areas of the marine vessels, specifications of the sailing routes-their relations with the environment, controllers and restrictives, the evaluation of the evaluation and conservation of biological diversity / natural resource, the evaluation of the sensitive areas, seasonal change of demand and supply, control and information points of the marine vessels will be designated.
5. Physical, real and effective carrying capacity of the Foça marine area, coasts and islands in terms of marine vessels and maritime traffic will be figured out.
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21. MEDITERRANEAN MONK SEAL CONSERVATION and MONITORING PROJECT IN KARABURUN PENINSULA (2009)

The Project study area Karaburun Peninsula is significant for Mediterranean monk seal habitats in Turkish coasts. In this context, with this Project, the current situation of monk seal habitats and monk seal caves are to be studied with the help of research and conservation studies of Mediterranean monk seal and their habitats executed by SAD-AFAG between the years of 1991-2004 in Karaburun Peninsula. Due to the need for sustainability in conservation and monitoring studies in Karaburun peninsula, Ministry of Environment and Forestry has initiated this process with this Project.

Based on Turkish National Monk Seal Commitee, SAD-AFAG has been cooperating with Ministry of Environment and Forestry for years. Thanks to this Project, by taking Mediterranean monk seal as a symbol that is to be conserved, it is thought to contribute to the conservation of natural habitats in marine and coastal areas and rational management planning of coastal areas. The Project will approximately last for 6 months and all the knowledge and experience acquired by SAD-AFAG in the area since 1990 were reflected on the Project. From the land bridge of Gerence-Balıklıova to all the northern coasts of peninsula and islands are significant not only for Mediterranean monk seals but also for other endangered marine and coastal species including shags and Audouin’s gull. Area is also potentially rich for agricultural productions including conventional and organic planting.

In the Karaburun Peninsula, still there are important monk seal caves known previously, especially in Mordoğan and Ayıbalığı area in the central eastern part and around Yeni Liman locality in the north.
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22. GOKOVA SEPA MARINE AND COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT PLAN PROJECT

The project is funded under BBI Matra program and shall be conducted in cooperation with Netherland based Rubicon Foundation. All the coast lines and marine areas within Gökova SEPA borders will be searched and based on the results of the field studies, data obtained in the field of socio-economic, ecologic, maritime traffic and threats will be transferred to GIS database. Later, a group formed by the experts will prepare a Marine and Coastal Zone Management Plan and submit it to EPASA in order to be approved for implementation.

During whole stage of the data collection, evaluation and creation of management plan, SAD-AFAG, Rubicon, EPASA and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs will study together. The results obtained by common consensus will be reflected on these reports. The Project will start in January 2009 and will be completed in November 2010.The project will certainly contribute for the conservation of monk seal and its habitat with a comprehensive marine & coastal zone management planning and implementation by the responsible governmental departments.Gökova Bay holds a breeding monk seal population in Türkiye.

23. FOÇA POSIDONIA MAPPING & BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY INFORMATION CENTER ESTABLISHMENT (2006-2007)

SAD-AFAG and Foça Municipality had developed the Project called “Foça Marine Protection Zone Planning and Public Awareness and Information Center”, which was conducted by the two organizations as well. The project was supported by Regional Environment Center (REC) Turkey. The most important aim of the Project was to ascertain the inquiry of distribution of posidonia sea grass and ın CBS (GIS) format and work it high definition satellite maps by numerical expressions. The study conducted by Yalçın Savaş was completed successfully. Possibly the most detailed posidonia mapping study that was done in our country was completed. The importance of the Project is very clear because it provides important reference and experience for SAD. Besides this, as part of the Project, information center was completed on October 2006. It was established in Foça Public Library and it was opened to visitors.

Foça Municipality in cooperation with SAD-AFAG designed info centers and put the into print. SAD-AFAG used the photographs of underwater, marine, coasts, Mediterranean monk seals and birds related to Foça from its own stocks or got them from other photographers. In the info center, biological diversity of marine and coastal areas, detailed information about the species with rich photography appeared on the large panels. The main chapters of the info center includes posidonia, underwater life mainly fish, birds, Mediterranean seals and Foça town.

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24. FIELD SURVEY ON THE MEDITERRANEAN MONK SEAL AND ITS HABITAT IN THE SOUTH-WEST COASTS OF TURKIYE
Between 15 and 27 July 2007, SAD-AFAG and IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) searched Teke Peninsula coasts, basically between Dalaman and Kemer, which holds breeding caves and habitat of Mediterranean monk seals (Monachus monachus) with IFAW’s special 22 m. long research vessel “Song of the Whale“. The members of SAD-AFAG Cem Kıraç, Harun Güçlüsoy, Zafer Kızılkaya and Volkan Hürsever worked in the field resesearc together with IFAW’s researchers Anna Moscrob, Olly Boisseau, Magnus Danbolt and Captain Richard McLanaghan all the coastline between Dalyan and Antalya. Researchers also designated the Mediterranean monk seals’ possible breeding caves and their habitat and made detailed drawings of the  caves discovered for the studies in the future. Especially between Dalyan and Aşı bay, the coastline between Ölüdeniz and Patara coasts, Kaş and Kekova coasts and National Park of Bey Mountains, it has been observed that these places are still Turkiye’s untouched, geologically unique and relatively untouched habitat for the Mediterranean monk seals. At the time of the research, observations on whales and dolphins as well as endangered sea birds were made and included in the report.
For further information please contact with afag@sad.org.tr