First National Workshop on Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile on the coasts of Turkey
19-20 September 2013
“First National Workshop on Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile on the coasts of Turkey”, organized by Turkish Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV) and RAC/SPA, was held in Gökçeada Island, Turkey on September 19-20, 2013. Eighteen scientists attended from five different universities, TUDAV and Turkish Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs. The proceedings were published as a book and included presentations on biology, ecology and distribution of Posidonia oceanica, Posidonia oceanica and associated communities, evaluation of Posidonia oceanica as bioindicators for ecological quality and industrial research on Posidonia oceanica.
During the workshop, cooperation efforts with many global, regional and national organizations, as well as universities have been represented by the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs.
Discussions were held on national legislation for the protection of seagrass meadows based on scientific approaches.
As a result of the workshop following issues have been pointed out;
Along the Turkish coasts; few studies were carried out on Posidonia meadows. Data on biology and ecology, and on their importance as habitats are not enough to form a habitat map of Posidonia oceanica. Present studies are local and focused around Izmir, Aegean Sea. For this reason, Izmir Bay may be expressed as a pilot area for a monitoring study.
Long term monitoring studies in other areas along the Turkish coast are required for mapping and protection of P. oceanica meadows. ‘Protocol for setting up Posidonia oceanica meadows monitoring system’ made by the MedPosidonia Programme will be used in research projects. New projects and monitoring studies need additional financial resources and scientific teams.
Current threats on the meadows should be revised, with a focus on fishing impact in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, and the legal regulations should be reviewed taking into account the lower limit of Posidonia meadows.
Public awareness should be raised for the protection of the meadows.
To collect grey literature, a web site on Posidonia can be created and a mapping study can be started by using appropriate studies.
One of the recommendations of the workshop was that the Posidonia workshop shall be repeated every two years with more participants (Ministry of Agriculture, Diving Schools and Underwater Federation, Coast Guard, Marine Police, municipal and non-governmental organizations) to reach a wider public interest. The next workshop will be organized in Izmir after 2 years.