Three different species of dolphin exists in Istanbul Strait; bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena).

Bottlenose Dolphin

Common Dolphin

Harbour Porpoise

If you look at the Strait carefully, you can also see them.

11 species of marine mammals live in Turkey which are fin whale, sperm whale, Grampus, Stenella, false killer whale, monk seal, long finned pilot whale and Cuvier’s beaked whale. But the reality is even though there are many whales and dolphins in our water, our knowledge on cetaceans are limited. Natural habitat of cetaceans has been destroyed from the anthropogenic activities and their survival is on the line due to the bycatch, marine pollution, overfishing and ext.

It is estimated that by catch causes 3 thousand dolphins to drown and get stranded in Black Sea. In 2003, a survey was conducted for three months (April, May and June), covering the 45 km beach of the West Black Sea and 177 dolphin was found stranded. Studies were conducted on the affects of marine pollution to cetaceans and according to those studies on harbor porpoises, it is found that there is a high level of chemical pollutants in them. Common dolphins of Mediterranean are listed as endangered in the IUCN since 2003. Marine mammal hunting has been prohibited in Turkey since 1983. Those animals are under protection by national (fishery code, 1380) and international laws (Barcelona Convention). Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV) has been conducting scientific studies on the population number, distribution and biology of cetaceans since 1993. For the aim of protecting those species, especially in Marmara Sea and Istanbul Strait, a research project, named “Street Boys of Istanbul Strait”, was being undertaken by TUDAV. In Istanbul Strait, dolphin abundance increases during the fish migration especially in the spring and autumn season. In this period, dolphin movements have been watched from the shore or from the boat. Photo-id studies were undertaken during the surveys. By those photo-id studies, we tried to identify the resident and migrant groups of dolphins.

You can also contribute to our project by identifying the specious correctly as well as by filling this form!

The concept of the project:
• To identify the specious, population number, distribution and habitats of dolphins in relation with seasons.
• To identify the migrants and resident populations;
• To determine the population structures and individuals (photo-id)
• To identify the threats on dolphin and come up with possible solutions

• To establish a network that covers the coastal areas for the aim of gathering knowledge on stranded or alive animals

• To cooperate with related organizations for the conservation of dolphins

• To coordinate educational programs for raising public awareness

• To create the necessary technical backgrounds which are mentioned in ACCOBAMS, Barcelona, Bern and Bucharest convention;
• To contribute to the studies on protecting the marine biodiversity

Our studies will continue with your contributions and supports and all of those studies, by the help of your sensitivity to the subject, becomes more effective and productive. We would love you to join us and help us to protect our seas.

Can be downloaded (observation form.pdf)

You can watch the videos on Street Boys of the Bosphorus from the video section