Monthly Archives: April 2010

Unsolved Seal Murder in Bodrum Yalıkavak

Muammer Aşan, the director of Sporkent 1 Building Complex and Üstün Mavi, care-taker of the site saw a corpse on the sea in the Yalıkavak Kızılburun region, coast of in Bodrum Peninsula on the date of April 21, 2010 while walking around the site and realized it belongs to a Mediterranean Monk Seal and pulled the corpse with own means to the beach.  They called immediately Yalıkavak Municipality and SAD-AFAG representative veterinarian Fulya Massozi.  Fulya Massozi contacted with SAD-AFAG AFBIKA team and she arrived in the area around 19:00 PM with the corporation of Yalıkavak Municipality and performed first examination on the death seal together with municipality constabulary officers in the beach.  Afterwards seal corpse carried to Yalıkavak center with municipality vehicle to make further examinations.

In consequence of the necropsy performed in veterinary clinic in Yalıkavak, it’s determined that seal is shot by three firearms  in the right shoulder, multiple ribs and it right shoulder bone are broken, large blood accumulation occurs in chest cavity and internal bleeding cause the death. One rifle bullet and many small sized pellets found in the inner parts of the seal in the detailed examinations within necropsy. In other words, it’s understood that seal was shot several times before it’s found,  probably in different places, and shot by small pellets apart from the shot (rifle bullet) cause the death of seal.

Mediterranean monk seal shot intentionally in the sea- likely from a boat- was a pubescent (the period before becoming an adult) member and had around 150 kg weight. Fulya Massozi, Yalıkavak representative of SAD-AFAG, indicate that the seal was a very healthy member of its kind and doesn’t found any other diseases.

According to the national legislation, Mediterranean monk seals are among strictly protected species and shooting has 10.000 TL fine. However SAD-AFAG, carrying non-stop studies on Mediterranean monk seals and their habitats since 1987, hasn’t witnessed any incidents that Mediterranean monk seal murderers are caught or anybody punished for these actions in Turkey. Although Mediterranean monk seals are under protection with Bern and Barcelona Conventions concerning also Turkey as a party with all protocols, any effective precautions couldn’t been taken against the intentional murdering incidents. The ideal solution to reduce such deliberate killings is to develop sustainable fishery policies based on scientific studies, assure implementation and control of illegal trawl, purse-seiners, spear fishing, dynamite fishing and basket fishing instead of making searches for the shooters. Deliberate killing of seals will be decreased in case of rivalry among the coastal fishermen and monk seal as a result of the increase in fish stocks in the seas.

The primary reason causing extinction of Mediterranean monk seal is actually coastal development. Concreted coasts and coastal roads are primary elements that prevent breeding of monk seals by destroying their homes, natural coastal habitats. These rare marine mammals living dependently on the coasts- resting, breeding and raising and feedings its puppies in the caves, certainly need scarce and intact coasts and coastal caves. Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Environmental Protection Agency for Special Areas, Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Municipalities have to consider this factor carrying coastal plans and constructional works. Additionally it’s definite that coastal constructions and new road opening works are undeniable causes of irreversible coastal losses and natural area destructions. SAD-AFAG and National Monk Seal Comity is ready to provide most actual and accurate data to planners in case of  consultancy is required about coastal development planning including new road planning.

© 2010 SAD-AFAG C.O.Kıraç

The questionnaries completed in Gökova


As part of the “Gökova Integrated Coastal and Marine Management Project” executed by SAD- AFAG and RUBICON Foundation with the co-operation of EPASA and MARA, the questionnaire work has been held to local main stakeholders  between 21th and 24th March by SAD-AFAG team comrising N.Ozan Veryeri, Semiha Demirbaş, Denizcan Durgun, Ayhan Tonguç and Mustafa Ateş.

The questions of survey were prepared by N. Ozan Veryeri, Assist. Prof. Vahdet Ünal, Bahar Suseven, Ayhan Toprak, Gökhan Kaboğlu, Semiha Demirbaş and Cem O. Kıraç. The target occupational groups are fishermen, tourism employees, excursion boat tours, yatchers and farmers.The survey were applied totally 116 losal participant with those details; Tourism(38), Boat tours(15), Fishermen(28) and Farmer(35), mainly in Akyaka, Gökova and also Gökçe, Turnalı, Akbük, Çamlı, Akçapınar, Bucak, Okulyanı, Ovacık and Karaca settlements. The sectoral state and problems of fishery, the relation between nature conservation and EPASA, the fishing species amount and declining fish species which have high economic values were determined with the previous questionnarie work that has been done under the title of “fishery management”with all of the coastal fishermen(100 fishermen from 3 fishery cooperatives). Within this survey fishermen reply some other questions. Yatchers are the only stakeholder group that can not be reached within this field study since they are not available in the region in this season. The survey related to the yatchers will be held in the summer period. And the questionnarie will be risen up to 150 in number.

The aims of the survey are to categorise the problems of stakeholders, to determine the capacity and density of the services, to describe the relation of EPASA, how they percieve natural processes and which facility creates risk accoring to their view and to collect their previsions for development. Gökova Integrated Marine and Coastal Zone Management Project will improve with these infomations.

The areas of the services were pointed in the map by all of the participants to deteremine the land use density and distribution. This data will be located in GIS and used in analysis with other associated data. The survey questions which examine the perception, relation and proposal of the individual, are unstructured questions why the individuals are kindly asked their opinions.

We thank to all of the participants for taking their time and Bahar Suseven and GAS-Der for their contributions to designing and implementing the questionnaries.