Future of the Seas: Seagrass Meadows

In our new project, which we started in cooperation with Türkiye İş Bankası, we are working for the protection of Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows around Paşalimanı Island in the Marmara Sea.

Among the 4 species of seagrass (Posidonia oceanica, Cymodocea nodosa, Zostera marina, Zostera noltei) living in Turkish Seas, Posidonia oceanica is found in the Mediterranean, Aegean and rarely in Marmara, while the other 3 species are found in all our seas. Posidonia oceanica is a flowering plant with root, stem and leaves. It produces oxygen by photosynthesizing and is known as the lungs of seas because of this feature. It plays a very important role in combating climate change with its carbon sequestration feature. It creates shelter, spawning and breeding areas for many living organisms. This species, which is vital for our seas, is under protection, but it is in danger of extinction due to reasons such as boat anchors, pollution, illegal fishing, urban and industrial wastes.

In our 2-year project, we will map the Posidonia oceanica seagrass areas living on Paşalimanı Island in Erdek, Erdek and conduct a preliminary study for mapping and buoy systems. We will determine the species living with Posidonia seagrasses and carry out eradication studies of invasive species (such as Rapana venosa), underwater and beach cleanups, especially the collection of ghost nets. In addition, within the scope of the project, we will provide awareness raising trainings with local people and fishermen and in a total of 30 primary and secondary schools in the surrounding areas.