After the 37th CIESM Congress

Dr. Bülent TOPALOĞLU Turkish Marine Research Foundation

CIESM is a scientific community and is formed from 23 members from 20 countries with the coast to Black Sea and Mediterranean plus Germany, Switzerland and Portugal. This scientific community, centered in Monaco, generally organized a scientific meeting or congress once in every three years that supports the researches on the each aspect of marine science. Establishment of CIESM goes to the really old times. The first scientific meeting was undertaken in March 1910 in Monaco. Membership of our country started from 1953. 37th Congress was done under the hosting of Spanish Government between 7 and 12 June of 2004 in Barcelona. 15th Congress of this community was done in Istanbul in 1956 as well as 26th Congress was organized in Antalya in 1979.

Prof. Dr. Aykut BARKA was honored us by being the invited participant of the 36th CIESM congress which was undertaken in Monte Carlo in 2001 and he presented his statement in this congress. In 2003, a scientific meeting was organized on “Ship Ballast Water” by the innovation of Turkish Marine Research Organization, in cooperation with CIESM. It is one of the latest important scientific progresses that for the first time a Turkish teaching stuff were chosen to the CIESM management as well as Cekmece Nuclear Research and Education Centre (ÇNAEM) was taken its part in the concept of Mediterranean and Black Sea Mussel Observation Project (which is supported by CIESM). Another important issue was the vital care that our Maritime Counselor was given to this meeting. The counselor was applied to CIESM with an official letter which was related to our seas and the letter was sought out for our benefit. And with this letter, they also proposed to organize the 38th Congress in Istanbul. CIESM Commission accepted this proposal. Although the proposal, suggested in 2001, was voted down. Therefore, Maritime Counselor of Turkey has an active role on directing the marine science and creating new ideas and new hopes on the subject. Like the other international organizations that Turkey pays its yearly membership fee, there is no meaningful activity besides the ones mentioned above in CIESM as well. The most considering and distressing issue is even though Turkey possesses the longest coast line, only 22 statement (approx. %3.4) in 668 was belonged to Turkish Scientists in the 37th Congress of CIESM. Moreover, Turkish participant number of this congress was unfortunately limited with 13 people and they were mostly from Istanbul University. However, Greece took its place in the front row with its more than 50 participants as well as statements that they presented.

In this meeting, hundreds of scientist come together and discuss their joint scientific projects as well as their outcomes, Monaco Prince was the honorary president and Spanish Science and Technology Ministry hosted this meeting. Opening speech was done by General Secretary and General Director of CIESM Committees. In the speeches, the necessary marine studies which should be undertaken in Mediterranean (including Aegean, Marmara and Black sea) were pointed out.

CIESM is formed from six different committee, including Marine Geology (Marin Geology and Geo-physic), Ocean Physic and Its Climate, Marine Biogeochemical, Marine Microbiology, Marine Ecosystem, Live stocks and Coastal Ecology. Committee Presidents are chosen by the researches’ votes who are the members of each committee.

Round table conference was undertaken by the participations of experts from different committees. In this congress, it was pointed out that the number of deep sea data were rare thus more studies should be directed to these areas in the near future. During the round table conference on “Mediterranean and Black Sea Mussel Observation Project”, Representative of CNAEMR pointed out that Black sea, Marmara and Aegean Sea (until to Izmir) have seventeen of mussel observation station and according to the collected data some stations possess radioactivity and heavy metals. Moreover, he mentioned that they transplanted mussels in six different stations between Izmir and Hatay.

Our country should decide the priority areas in marine science as soon as possible and should create funding for these selected areas of marine science. Countries with no priorities and targets on marine researches cannot protect their marine rights and benefits. Moreover, they cannot even compete with the countries which have improved marine researches. Only they can buy the knowledge that other countries produce and they can support others’ researches just as a customer. Unfortunately, marine researches in our country aren’t in the position where we want it and some institutions doesn’t want to get involve with this subject. For this reason it would be very useful to coordinate a meeting on marine researches, instructions, priorities and mistakes which have been done in Turkey. At least this will be a good start to question the current politics then we can take our lessons from them. Thus with the help of this meeting, we can take the first step for a new planning.

However, CIESM meeting which was done in 2007 with the leadership of TUDAV was vital and TUDAV was hosted at least 1000 marine scientist in Istanbul. Moreover, participation of wide range of Turkish scientist to the 38th CIESM congress give us the opportunity for conducting the regional, bilateral or basin based joint researches.

Photograph: Members of TUDAV Management Board and Teaching stuff of Istanbul University, Dr.Hüseyin ÖZTÜRK presenting their studies