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Turkey coastline and islands. © Akdeniz Koruma Derneği

Turkey coastline and islands. © Akdeniz Koruma Derneği

Boosting climate change resilience by restoring marine ecosystem connectivity in south-west Türkiye

Project lead: Berry Mulligan

Fauna & Flora is working with Turkish partner, Akdeniz Koruma Derneği (AKD), to create marine protected areas along Türkiye’s Mediterranean coastline.

Our work in south-west Türkiye

Türkiye’s seas are home to a wealth of wildlife including Mediterranean monk seals, sandbar sharks and dusky groupers. Our partner AKD works with communities and the Turkish government to create and expand marine protected areas (MPAs) along the coastline. To reduce the threat of destructive and illegal fishing in the MPAs and enable protection, AKD coordinates patrols, closely monitors populations of important species such as the endangered Mediterranean monk seal and conducts research assessing the health of key habitats such as seagrass. Additionally, they work to develop nature-positive enterprises to promote the consumption of invasive species as climate-resilient food and support local fishing cooperatives to record fish catch and monitor fish stocks.

Watch: how the work of Fauna & Flora and partners is helping marine species and fishing communities

Project goals

This work involves:

  • Working with fishers to regulate fishing, remove incentives for illegal activity, and ensure that those who operate within the law can benefit from their marine resources.
  • Helping threatened species and marine habitats to recover by increasing the resilience of marine ecosystems.
  • Enabling fish stocks to recover, thus improving small-scale fisher livelihoods and increasing the availability of prey for marine predators.
  • Exploring, evaluating and introducing revenue streams that promote sustainable natural resource use by local stakeholders while diversifying livelihoods.
  • Working with local people and government to expand the network of marine protected areas along approximately 700 km of coastline, including designation and active protection of full no-fishing zones.
© Kieran Murray / Fauna & Flora

© Kieran Murray / Fauna & Flora

Project timeline

    Zafer Kizilkaya © Goldman Environmental Prize

    Zafer Kizilkaya © Goldman Environmental Prize


    Zafer Kızılkaya, president of AKD, wins Goldman Environmental Prize.


    Fauna & Flora and AKD’s project in Türkiye showcased as a flagship project of the UN Decade of Habitat Restoration.

    © Michelangelo Pignani / Fauna & Flora

    © Michelangelo Pignani / Fauna & Flora


    AKD launches nature-positive enterprise promoting invasive species trading to support local livelihoods.


    Turkish government formally expands its marine protected area network by 350 km2, including new no-fishing zones.

    Mediterranean monk seal. © Zafer Kizilkaya

    Mediterranean monk seal. © Zafer Kizilkaya


    First use of man-made ledge for pupping by a female monk seal following cave habitat restoration work.


    Inception of the Endangered Landscapes & Seascapes Programme, which significantly expanded conservation efforts and monitoring along 700 km of Türkiye’s coastline.


    Zafer Kızılkaya, president of AKD, wins Whitley Gold Award.

    Surveying Gökova Bay, Türkiye © Zafer Kizilkaya

    Surveying Gökova Bay, Türkiye © Zafer Kizilkaya


    Fauna & Flora and AKD establish partnership and begin work in Gökova Bay.


This project is delivered in partnership with Akdeniz Koruma Derneği (AKD) and the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC).


We are grateful for financial support from the Endangered Landscapes & Seascapes Programme, managed by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative and funded by Arcadia (a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin) for this project.

Safeguarding our seas

With support from Fauna & Flora, our Turkish partners have made great strides in protecting a vital seascape and the wildlife that depends on it.

Help us to restore the Mediterranean’s Turquoise Coast to its former glory, together.

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Berry Mulligan profile picture

Berry Mulligan

Senior Programme Manager (Marine), Eurasia

Berry grew up in Bristol, UK, but spent many weekends as a teenager watching wildlife in the surrounding countryside and in the city itself. While completing a degree in Ecology from the University of East Anglia, Berry learnt Spanish and worked with NGOs in El Salvador and Costa Rica on sea turtle conservation projects. In 2006 he was lucky enough to join Fauna & Flora as Programme Officer for the Americas & Caribbean regional programme. He later jumped at the chance to work with Fauna & Flora in Asia, and became the Country Manager of the Cambodia Programme in 2011. Returning to his interest in marine and coastal conservation he is now focusing on developing marine conservation projects for Fauna & Flora, and he hopes to help the Cambodian Government establish the country’s first marine protected area around two offshore tropical islands.