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Project

Blue Wave

Project Aims

The Blue Wave project, or Mavi Dalga (in Turkish), aims to improve 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 aims 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

 

Latest activities

  • We first established a partnership consisting of cross sector representation from key stakeholders (including the Municipality of Fethiye, Chamber of Shipping, TURMEPA, D Marin Göcek). This group is responsible for delivering the project and co-ordinating activities.
  • Blue Wave partners are now meeting regularly and are working together to develop activities, including beach cleans.
  • Blue Wave will also now be 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 have been shared with partners and will inform training for boat operators.
  • We are training boat operators and tour operator staff in sustainable boating practice.
  • We have produced educational materials for tourists to raise awareness of the threats to the marine environment and how they can mitigate these threats. 60,000 copies of an educational map have been distributed at marinas and by boat operators.
  • We have produced a ‘sustainable boating’ manual – the first of its kind in Turkish 1000 copies have been distributed to boat operators and marinas.
  • A Blue Wave website has been 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 has been 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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