We have to create protection areas in order to ensure the continuation of the coasts and seas damaged as a result of human activities.

Today, there are some serious problems affecting the coasts of Turkey, Europe and the whole world, and these problems damage the coasts by permanently deteriorating the physical, chemical and biological forms of the coasts. If it is necessary to list these problems under a few headings; human-based activities such as unconscious and uncontrolled agriculture and fishery activities, energy production works carried out with aggressive strategies, and tourism, which is carried out without environmental impact assessment or ignoring its effects on the environment, can be counted in the first place.

In addition to this, the climate change, the warming of the waters, the opening of new waterways as a result of both sea rises and human activities, the mixing of waters with different ecological characteristics and the destruction of underwater reefs due to destructive weather events can be counted as situations that can also occur spontaneously in nature.

The pressures and changes experienced on the flora and fauna, which are based on human activities, can be slowed down with conservation efforts or completely eliminated with good management. If we do not take a decisive protection measure against the deterioration in an ecosystem particle, it is inevitable that we will talk about ecological desertification within the ecosystem particle, especially the extinction of some living things.

Conservation actions taken to save the ecosystem particle alone are not enough, commitments to stop human activities must also be taken and these commitments must be complied with to ensure the protection of coasts and marine areas; even enforced by destructive sanctions.

Whose duty is it to contribute to the protection of the coasts? It seems quite difficult for the civilians alone to achieve this alone. It is essential to create comprehensive state support for the creation of coastal and marine protected areas and to receive the support of the states in this regard.

Only 15.5 percent of the world's coastal areas remain ecologically intact.

Coastal degradation is becoming a global problem. You can take a broader perspective on the effects of coastal degradation by downloading a report of a study presented by the University of Queensland [link].

Taking and making efforts to protect the coasts helps to reduce the negative effects of unconscious agricultural activities and aquaculture, uncontrolled tourism activities and the management of controlled disposal of waste, energy production and other actions taken in interaction with the coast.

Why should we have more marine protected areas?

The WWF defined the protected area as sea and coastal zones that are under protection due to their ecological importance. The main reason for creating these fields is actually simple; the necessity of protecting areas against hazards. In terms of fisheries, if we have to talk about it, providing reliable areas for the continuous creation of the resources necessary for the continuation of fishing activities is a sufficient justification for the creation of marine protected areas.

Although the Mediterranean covers less than 4% of the world's total water surface area, it is home to 10% of marine species. Among the important inhabitants of the Mediterranean are sea turtles, fin whales and the seagrass "Posidonia oceanica", which plays an important role in ocean life. In addition to these, there are dozens of different types of sharks, fish with economic value, shrimps and octopuses. In general, we can say that approximately 18,000 plant and animal species live in the Mediterranean. Almost 1/3 of them are not found anywhere else in the world.

Mediterranean littoral countries have committed to protecting 10% of the total surface of the Mediterranean Sea by 2020 [check the PDF], but today less than 4% of the Mediterranean Sea is protected and most existing marine protected areas do not have a good management plan. This shows that there are great risks for the future of the Mediterranean when we evaluate it in terms of both ecological and fisheries.

If we look at the protected areas in terms of fisheries, we can say that marine protected areas make it possible to recover the natural stocks of fish and other fishery products. Promoting marine protected areas, along with sustainable fishing practices, will contribute to the continued benefit of local fishermen from seafood and the safest possible reaping of this benefit by coastal residents and indigenous peoples.

Traditional fishing is part of the Mediterranean's identity and an important line of business that employs half a million people in its basin. However, the future of this line of business is also in direct danger due to reasons such as overfishing and pollution that directly affect the seas. You can observe the effects of pollution on the Mediterranean basin in a more understandable way by taking a look at the data provided by the Microplastics Research Group [link], an observation group operating in Turkey.

What are the 5 benefits of marine protected areas to fisheries?

Older female fish settled in marine protected areas are more prolific in reproductive activity than younger fish. Because the larger the fish, the more eggs it lays. Thus, the probability of the continuation of the species increases. Currently, there is no predator from outside the natural food chain, so an easier and faster recovery can be mentioned.

Ovulation can be a thousand times higher in conservation areas than in normal locations. Because the stress factors affecting ovulation are less. It should not be forgotten that the possibility of being hunted is also a stress factor. Although natural hunting behaviors continue within the protected areas, there is no extra hunting pressure or it is not at a high enough level to be considered.

Marine protected areas interact directly with their environment. Eggs and newly emerged individuals in the protected areas are also transported outside of the protected area with the help of currents and waves, making an important contribution to the improvement of the outside of the area from an ecological point of view.

Many fish species in the Mediterranean make "nests" to lay their eggs. Nests built in marine protected areas are important because; Since there are no digging fishing activities, the nests do not deteriorate, and since the nests do not deteriorate, it is easier for the fish to continue their generation.

In a fertile marine protected area, it doesn't take long for fish and other species to recover. The fish population in marine protected areas could increase up to 3 - 4 times. This positively affects not only the ecological population of the area, but also the population of the entire region.

If we want to protect the sea, marine life and the benefits we derive from the sea today, we must create and strive to develop more marine protected areas.