Our Seas Still Possess the Richness We Need to Protect

It’s time to protect what we have left. We shouldn’t repeat our past mistakes. We need to find the answers to questions like what did we lose, why and how we lost them. For this purpose, we conduct studies and we will continue to do so. Among our coasts, there are ones with untouched natural beauties. Millions of organisms come to the coastal areas to feed and to reproduce. Lagoons and mouths of streams possess a rich amount of nutrition for marine organisms. Even if we can’t see it right away, the sand we step on is full of life. Fish migrations still continue in our straits. We still come across seals in the Mediterranean Sea. Even more, we have otters. Dolphins greet us from the boundless blue seas. When we look underwater, we can see the unbelievable beauties of life. Seagrasses host various organisms. Anchovy is still fished in the Black Sea. Groupers, morays, octopus are the intriguing guards of rock caves of the Aegean and the Mediterranean Sea. But they all depend on our determination: We either decide to study and protect our seas or all of this richness will continue to decline.

Advertisement Brochure Brief Presentation of 15th Anniversary of TUDAV

 

Targets of the Turkish Marine Research Foundation

Data bank
Reaching the information that’s needed is difficult due to the wide range of studies in our seas. For this reason, TUDAV creates a data bank for the purpose of information exchange. Accidents in the Turkish Straits and Black Sea Bibliography have been prepared by our foundation.

Research
TUDAV supports various studies, especially studies on biodiversity, either with its own resources or by getting in contact with related foundations. In this regard, there is a long term study going on about Turkish Straits.

Publications
Research studies are presented to the scientific world both in Turkish and in English. Moreover, guide books are prepared with the aim of increasing public awareness.

Education
For our foundation, it is very important to share the knowledge of our seas with every part of society. Seminars and conservation guidelines, especially for fishermen and other members of society, are organized for this purpose.

Special Protected Areas
Our efforts for the establishment of Special Protected Areas continue, thus researches and practices will be conducted and everyone will be able to learn about underwater life.

Some of the founders of TUDAV (1996)

Front row (from right to left): Prof.Dr.Kasım Cemal Güven, Prof.Dr.Bayram Öztürk(Kurucu), Dr.Ayaka Amaha Öztürk,
Şahika Ertan, Prof.Dr.Akın Candan Astsubay Haldun Ergünt, Prof.Dr.Neşet Kadırgan

Rear row (from right to left): Prof.Dr.Hüseyin Öztürk, Prof.Dr.Şamil Aktaş, Captain Gündüz Aybay, Ender Çılgın, Asaf Ertan

From Founder

As a young boy from the Black Sea, I spent many years in the untouched and untainted coast of a very fertile sea. Tons of anchovies were stranded on the shore and people got them for free; the rest were left for the birds. My connection with the sea continued from then on. Later, I was surprised to find the fossilized remains of sea stars on the Taurus Mountains or even in the low mountains in Central Anatolia. I observed and learned then that much of the flat, endless valleys and plateaus were, in fact, evidence that Turkey was an ancient seabed. This discovery led to a fascination with the unique geological evolution of my country. In the Paleozoic times, Anatolia was the Tethys Sea.

I began attending the Maritime and Fisheries High school in Beykoz/Istanbul to travel the seas and to discover the diversity and richness of the regional seas and oceans. My interest matured into a deep love for the seas and the life they sustain.

I now have a passion for preserving and protecting the fragile ecosystem of the seas, not only for my children or my country but also for future generations all over the world. I have been fortunate, as a scientist, to investigate marine ecosystems including Antarctica. I found that all seas are impacted by climate change, overfishing, alien species, degradation of habitats, various sources of pollution and so on. Only healthy, well-managed and productive marine and coastal ecosystems support stable, secure economies and livelihoods in the coastal areas of Turkey. I know that sustainable development and poverty reduction cannot be achieved without healthy seas and coasts. More than 30% of the Turkish population lives in the coastal areas and depend heavily on seas and coastal resources for survival. For the moment, we know that at least 50 % of fish stocks are fully fished or overfished around us. We also know that many species are under threat. These two facts are horrifying for me but it shouldn’t be only me. It should horrify all of us.

Our seas are under immense pressure: too many animals are caught, too much rubbish is being thrown in and too little is being done to protect our precious marine wildlife and vital marine living resources. My mission is to protect the richness of wildlife, abundant fish stocks, sustainable fisheries and pollution-free beaches, and bathing waters.
So, we have to work together and take concerted action to preserve our lovely marine systems. There are many things to do together and we are just beginning. Our priority to protect regional and global marine biodiversity.

Moreover, the fight with IUU fishing must be one of our targets. That is why I look forward to a strong connection with many people from all over the world. This connection will help us protect the benefits of the seas for us and for our future. We know that the oceans are the sources of life for all, and not only in the narrow sense of the word.

You are more than welcome to help us by following our projects, donating, or supporting our goals and campaigns. Fight with us for the recovery of the seas and its inhabitants.

Bayram ÖZTÜRK
Founder of the Turkish Marine Research Foundation