marine conservation

Making waves in Fethiye

LD6H8867Earlier this year I joined the Travel Foundation, and currently manage programmes in Turkey and Cyprus…

I am particularly excited about Blue Wave, which aims to improve sustainable boating practice in the Muğla region. This part of Turkey is well known for its pristine coastline, but is experiencing increasing demand on its marinas and bays.

With a high level of engagement and support from local stakeholders – private, public and the municipalities – Blue Wave is bringing together stakeholders with the shared goal of strengthening sustainable marine practices. This will include work such as training for staff, information for tourists, sustainable action plans for bays and so on.

The project is contributing to the development of Fethiye as a sustainable tourism destination, while also building on the Taste of Fethiye project, which increased the benefits farmers gain from tourism and encouraged good farming practices.

For the upcoming season, a Blue Wave stakeholder is planning to support Taste
of Fethiye farmers by sourcing the fruit and vegetables for one of its tours from them. This can only encourage other stakeholders to follow suit.

Although strengthening sustainability can take time, local stakeholders in Fethiye are actively collaborating, sharing and implementing best practices. Could we ask for more? 

Jane Rowan, Destinations Programme OfficerJane Rowan

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Back to the Sea - fish

Award-winning sustainable fishing

We are pleased to announce that the Mediterranean Conservation Society (MCS) / Fauna and Flora International (FFI) project, “Towards Community Based Conservation, Gokova Bay”, won a 2014 UNDP Equator Initiative Award. The project was commended for promoting local sustainable development solutions for people and nature.

In response to marine ecosystem degradation, declining fish stocks, and associated losses to fishermen’s incomes, the Mediterranean Conservation Society (MCS) created a network of ‘no fishing zones’ along the southern Mediterranean coast of Turkey that put local fishing communities in the lead of marine biodiversity conservation.

This was complemented by the TF/FFI project, Back to the Sea, which offered local fishermen, operating in Gokova Bay, relevant training and capacity building to offer traditional fishing tourism excursions to visitors, while fish stocks replenished .

“We want to help ecosystem restoration and not to catch more fish as a livelihood. Traditional Fishing Tourism is a great tool for us from now on to share our experience and culture with tourists.”

– Ercument and Semra Altinsoy, a fisher couple who have now retired from fishing to focus on developing boutique tours and better support the No Fishing Zones 

Traditional Fishing Tourism is now demonstrating important alternative livelihood options for local fishing communities.