Alien Marine Species Monitoring Program of Turkey

Rapidly changing dynamics and the introduction of new species largely caused changes in biodiversity and fishing structure along the Mediterranean Sea over the time.

Sea water temperature has beenincreasing in the Mediterranean Sea which indicates that Mediterranean Sea has been under tropicalization. Warming of the Mediterranean is one of the reasons of the increase in the number of alien (especially Indo-Pacific species) in the Mediterranean.

Indo-Pacific species (lessepsian) pressure on the native Mediterranean species has resulted in declining native species on abundance and numbers, and lessepsian species become common in the Mediterranean by establishing their diet which tend to increase the reproductive ability. For the last decade, lessepsian species such as Logocephalus sceleratus, Chamsodon nudivittis, Nemipterus randalli penetrated to the Mediterranean Sea and became invasive. In addition, lessepsian species has also the negative socio-economic effects. For example, due to puffer fish capture, fishing nets were highly damaged and the regional fishing methods and habits were displaced with another. For truism sectors, several lessepsian species are hazardous or stingy that cause negative effect on the place for tourists in the Truism season.

Lessepsian species, which is not under the pressure of fishing such as Champsodon nudivittis or Logocephalus spp., easily compete with indigenous species. The Mediterranean endemic species such as Synodus saurus, Merluccius merluccius, Mullus barbatus, Mullus surmuletus, Argyrosomus regimus, Pagellus erythrinus have been remarkably decreased in abundance.

This program aims to monitor lessepsian species around the Turkish Marine waters based on published data, field work and collected information from the informs, given by scientists, fishermen, divers, captains and ext. We also give beneficial information such as identification, distribution and hazardous status of alien species for public.

Yours Sincerely,

Cemal Turan

Program Coordinator