Our work in Türkiye
Fauna & Flora is working with local partner Akdeniz Koruma Derneği (AKD – The Mediterranean Conservation Society) and coastal communities to strengthen protection for threatened species and habitats within Gökova Bay and the wider seascape along Türkiye’s Mediterranean coast.
Despite being a marine protected area, Gökova has suffered from destructive and unsustainable fishing practices. Their impacts include degradation of seabed habitats (including an important seagrass found only in the Mediterranean), the collapse of many of the bay’s fisheries, and a decline in the number of top predators normally found there. Increased numbers of invasive lionfish and rabbitfish entering from the Red Sea (as a result of climate change) have also caused serious damage.
With Fauna & Flora support, AKD successfully lobbied for the establishment of no-fishing zones and encouraged local fishers and other community members to play an active role in patrolling and monitoring, and to target invasive fish as a source of food. This flagship programme has helped minimise illegal fishing and promoted fish stock and habitat recovery.
With biodiversity on the rebound, including commercially important fish species, monk seals and other marine predators, the project has been hailed as a great success for both nature and fishing communities that depend on a healthy ecosystem for their livelihoods. This successful protected area blueprint is now being rolled out more widely along Türkiye’s Mediterranean coastline to promote the recovery of the country’s marine ecosystems.