ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
This photo shows Kefken, in the northwestern province of Kocaeli, one of the five Black Sea marine areas in Turkey that are set to be protected by the new project. Hürriyet photo
A new EU-supported project has earmarked a number of areas on the Black Sea, including sites in
Turkey, for a series of new protection zones in which human activity will be minimized to conserve the environment.
“The project is a great chance for the Black Sea’s future and we want the regions extending from the Adriatic to Gibraltar to be protected,” Dr. Bayram Öztürk, a professor at Istanbul University and the coordinator of the project, told daily Radikal. “The project will last for four years and draw participation from 59 scholars from 22 countries. All means of human traffic [in the protected zones] will be prohibited.”
The protection project was outlined at the first scientific meeting of COCONET, an EU-supported endeavor to protect the seas, on July 16 and 17 at Istanbul University.
Five areas in Turkey are set to be protected including Şile in Istanbul, Kefken in the neighboring province of Kocaeli, İğneada in the northwestern province of Kırklareli, the deltas of the Kızılırmak and Yeşilırmak rivers in Samsun, Cide and Doğanyurt in Kastamonu, as well as the Mergit reef offshore from Trabzon.
The aim of the project is to establish closed protection zones against tourism, environmental and noise pollution, sea traffic and fishing.
In the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, research will be carried out until 2016 to determine similar protection zones before presenting suggestions for conservation to the European Union.
The EU will make a decision on whether to declare the suggested zones as protected areas, while the second leg of the process will be to convey the decision to EU member countries, Öztürk said.