Case Study

Blue Wave

Project Aims

The Blue Wave project, or Mavi Dalga (in Turkish), was about improving awareness and understanding of the threats to the marine environment from marine tourism – both within the tourism sector and amongst tourists themselves. The project also aimed to improve the level of sustainable practices carried out within the sector and amongst tourists, creating a cleaner and more appealing tourism product.

Why? The demand for berthing space in the Muğla region is set to double over the next two decades as recreational marine tourism grows, and most tourists take at least one boat trip during their stay. The increased use of the bays is increasing pressure on the marine environment.

The Fethiye-Göcek bay is home to more than 1,500 species, including the endangered Loggerhead sea turtle and Mediterranean monk seal.

 

Tourists on Fethiye cruise

 

Activities

  • We first established a partnership consisting of cross sector representation from key stakeholders (including the Chamber of Shipping, the Municipality of Fethiye, TURMEPA, D Marin Göcek). This group met regularly and worked together to develop activities, including beach cleans.
  • Blue Wave was also represented at district government meetings in which coastal regulations at a local level are agreed.
  • Research into boating practices was carried out across 100 daily boats. The findings were shared with partners and informed training for boat operators.
  • The first sustainable boating practice training sessions for boat operators and tour operator staff was delivered.
  • We produced educational materials for tourists to raise awareness of the threats to the marine environment and what they can do to help. 60,000 copies of an educational map were distributed at marinas and by boat operators. Signage and audio messages for boats helped spread the message further.
  • We produced a ‘sustainable boating’ manual – the first of its kind in Turkish. 1000 copies were distributed to boat operators and marinas.
  • A Blue Wave website was launched by partners, with information in English and Turkish and downloadable resources for boat operators tourists and other marine stakeholders.
  • A donation system for boat passengers was established to fund Blue Wave activities.

Benefits

As well as helping to protect the marine environment in the Fethiye region, an important aspect of the region’s tourism offering, the learnings from this project have the potential to be scaled up to other marinas and popular boating destinations.

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