255,648.8 km² (Exclusive Economic Zone including territories)
Marine Protected Area Coverage:
0.28% in 1 MPAs
0.02% in No-Take Reserves
National MPA Contacts & Resources
Within the marine areas bordering Turkey’s lengthy coastline lies an abundant, highly diverse and globally significant biodiversity endowment. Overall, some 3,000 plant and animal species have been identified in Turkey’s territorial sea. Among these are about 20 species of marine mammals. Some of which are: the loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus). Some 480 species of marine fish have been identified in Turkish waters, of which 50% are believed to be in danger of local extirpation. Economically important fish species include anchovy, horse mackerel, bonito, sardine, bluefish, mullet and turbot. Avian fauna dependent on Turkey’s marine environment include Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii), as well as the migratory summer visitor Eleonora’s falcon (Falco eleonorae).
Currently, about 4% of Turkey’s territorial waters is protected. The proposed long-term aim for marine biodiversity conservation in Turkey’s territorial sea is a reconfigured Marine and Coastal Protected Area (MCPA) network designed to protect biodiversity while optimizing its ecological service functions – under effective and sustainable adaptive management. In 2012, Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas community reviewed the status and developed a regional roadmap aimed at establishing an effective and sustainably managed ecological network of Marine Protected Areas. During the 2013 Barcelona Convention COP 18 meeting in Istanbul, the parties agreed to develop a representative network of coastal and marine protected areas, to protect the Mediterranean Sea coral habitat and to increase the number and visibility of the Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI).
"Strengthening the System of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas of Turkey" is a joint cooperation between the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Government of Turkey and UNDP. The project aims to strengthen Turkey’s national marine and coastal protection system and to ensure its effective management. Some of the project's achievements include: increase in the percentage of Turkey's territorial waters that is protected, creation of 10 no-fishing zones in Gökova and Datça-Bozburun Special Environmental Protection Areas( a total of 4,000-ha area is now protected), and Turkey's National Marine and Coastal Protected Areas Strategy and Action Plan was drafted.