Protected clam species transferred for bridge construction in Turkey’s northwest
The protected fan mussel species Pinna nobilis, a large species of Mediterranean clam, has been transported to another area due to the construction of the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge in the northwestern province of Çanakkale.
“Before, construction works were paused due to dolphin crossings. Now, a protected fan mussel species, Pinna nobilis, has been transported to another area,” Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Cahit Turhan told state-run Anadolu Agency on Jan. 9.
“The transfer of the mussels has been undertaken in a manner not to hinder the construction process and delay the bridge’s opening date of March 18, 2022,” Turhan added.
According to the minister, over 1,000 mussels were transported to safe areas.
After detecting that Pinna nobilis may be adversely affected due to the marine structure of the bridge, a joint study was conducted with the Çanakkale 18 Mart University, the minister stated.
An environmental impact assessment (EIA) along with an environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) have been developed for the project, in order to take necessary precautions, Turhan asserted.
“Researches done on aquatic life forms within the scope of the ESIA had shown that during bridge piling, some dolphin species migrating through the Dardanelles might have been adversely affected. Thus, measures have been taken regarding this issue,” he said.
The minister said warnings were made to halt the pile works in case dolphins approach the construction site less than 500 meters.
Dolphins were detected by the sound listening method, he said, adding that a passive acoustic monitoring device was used during night time.
The 1915 Çanakkale Bridge will connect the Aegean, western Mediterranean and Central Anatolian regions to Thrace and Europe without interruption, the minister said.
Turhan also stressed that the bridge will be the world’s longest suspension bridge with its main span measuring 2,023 meters.