Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats - Standing Committee

Recommendation No. 66 (1998) on the conservation status of some nesting beaches for marine turtles in Turkey (Adopted by the Standing Committee on 4 December 1998)

The Standing Committee of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, acting under the terms of Article 14 of the Convention,

Having regard to the aims of the convention to conserve wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats;

Having regard to Resolution (78) 22 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on threatened amphibians and reptiles in Europe;

Having regard to Recommendation R (97) 9 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on a policy for the development of sustainable environment-friendly tourism in coastal areas;

Having regard to the following Recommendations of the Standing Committee:

- No. 7 (1987) on the protection of marine turtles and their habitat;

- No. 8 (1987) on the protection of marine turtles in Dalyan and other important areas in Turkey;

- No. 12 (1988) concerning the protection of important turtle nesting beaches in Turkey;

– No. 13 (1988) concerning measures for the protection of critical biotopes of endangered amphibians and reptiles;

- No. 24 (1991) on the protection of some beaches in Turkey of particular importance to marine turtles;

- No. 54 (1996) on the conservation of Caretta caretta at Patara (Turkey);

Recalling that Article 3 of the convention provides that each Contracting Party shall take the necessary steps to promote national policies for the conservation of wild flora, wild fauna and natural habitats, with particular attention to endangered and vulnerable species, especially endemic ones, and endangered habitats;

Recalling that Article 4, paragraph 1, of the convention provides that each Contracting Party shall take appropriate and necessary legislative and administrative measures to ensure the conservation of the habitats of the wild flora and fauna species, especially those specified in the Appendices I and II, and the conservation of endangered natural habitats;

Recognising the efforts of the Government of Turkey to protect the nesting beaches for marine turtles;

Referring to the DHKD/WWF report “1996, Marine Turtles in Turkey: a survey on Nesting Site Status”;

Acknowledging that, in spite of some positive steps, many of the threats outlined in the WWF report of 1988 are still of great concern, and new adverse pressures involving tourism development, sand extraction and fisheries by-catch are increasing;

Recommend that the Government of Turkey:

Sites protection

1. a. Reassess tourism investment projects on beaches of importance for marine turtle nesting or in their vicinity, particularly where these may result in making the beaches unsuitable for turtle nesting; carry out the necessary environmental impact assessments (EIAs) where these projects exist or are planned; halt the realisation of those projects until the EIAs have been made;

b. Re-evaluate recent allocations affecting any of the 17 beaches in particular Dalaman, Belek, Kale, Kilizot;

c. Improve control of the effects on the beaches of local tourism, secondary summer homes, caravans, camping and other activities that may be detrimental to the environmental quality of the beaches; remove present adverse effects of these activities on nesting beaches;

2. Take urgent necessary measures to fully implement the protection status of Special Protected Areas (SPAs);

3. Designate the key nesting beaches for marine turtles as Natural SIT areas (first degree) established under law no. 2863 or protect it by another appropriate legal status that may assure the conservation of their environmental values;

4. Assure inter-ministerial compliance for marine turtle conservation needs;

5. Take urgent and stringent measures to enforce legislation against illegal sand extraction on the 17 nesting beaches; assure that penalties for illegal sand extraction are dissuasive enough by raising the amount of penalties, or by the application, where appropriate, of criminal law, or by the use of any other effective legal or administrative measures;

6. Regulate and, where necessary, prohibit speed boats, jet skis and para-gliding during the nesting season; ensure respect of low speed limits set and reinforce controls on all off-shore areas of 17 nesting beaches;

Species requirements

Chelonia mydas:

Kazanli:

Take urgent measures to restore the beach

a. by constructing an eastern breakwater or jetty;

b. remove the adjacent “greenhouses” and the solid waste, particularly plastics;

c. resolve the pollution problem from the soda chrome factory;

Samandag:

a. reverse erosion caused by illegal sand extraction;

b. regularly remove waste;

c. protect the area as a natural SIT or give it any other appropriate equivalent protection;

Yumurtalik Bay:

a. endeavour to fit trawlers with turtle excluder devices (TEDs);

b. regulate fishing activities within 5 km off-shore so as to minimise impact on the turtle population; prohibit, where necessary, fishing in critical areas and/or periods;

c. prohibit weighted/scour trawling;

Caretta caretta

Address and resolve the photo pollution caused by present buildings and take the following measures at:

Belek:

a. abandon plans for the development of a marina at natural “SIT” area as this would be incompatible with the nesting activities in this area of highest nesting density;

b. prevent frequentation of the beaches at night;

c. secure the remaining unbuilt beach plots against development;

d. prohibit horse riding on the beach;

Dalaman:

a. abandon plans for the development of a marina;

b. prevent frequentation of the beaches at night;

c. secure the remaining unbuilt beach plots against development;

Fethiye:

a. secure the remaining unbuilt beach plots against development;

Anamur:

a. prohibit sand extraction;

b. secure the remaining unbuilt beach plots against development.

Kale:

a. secure the remaining unbuilt beach plots against development;

Patara:

a. prohibit vehicles and horse riding on the beach;

b. take steps to abandon plans for the construction of the airport;

- Carry out appropriate education campaigns with the local populations, tourists and tourism professionals as to the great interest of the 17 beaches for marine turtles and on the impact that some activities (lighting of beaches, night frequentation, setting up of parasols and deck chairs etc) may have on the success of the nesting and hatching of turtles;

- Implement fully Recommendation No. 54 (1996) on the conservation of Caretta caretta at Patara (Turkey) of the Standing Committee.



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