Dekafok’s primary objective is to improve sea turtle protection along the Manavgat coastline.
During turtle nesting season we focus our efforts on patrolling the nesting beaches. We try to ensure a peaceful nesting for the turtles before installing protective fencing around their nests to prevent damage by human activity during the incubation period (around 60 days). We continue to monitor the nests until the hatchlings emerge then create responsible viewing opportunities for people to witness the hatchlings make their way into the ocean.
We also raise awareness of local legislation protecting Turkey’s sea turtles and provide guidance on responsible behaviour on turtle nesting beaches.
The Mediterranean Sea is home to three of the world’s seven species of sea turtle – loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green (Chelonia mydas), and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea).
Turkey’s coastline is one of the most important for Mediterranean sea turtles, providing valuable foraging and nesting grounds that host an estimated one-third of total Mediterranean loggerhead turtle nests and two-thirds of total Mediterranean green turtle nests annually. Manavgat’s coastline is particularly important for loggerhead turtles.
Sea turtles face a wide variety of threats. Nesting beaches are impacted by large-scale coastal development, intensive tourism activities, widespread beach furniture, use of 4x4s and ATVs, fires, and plastic pollution.
Adult and juvenile sea turtles are caught as bycatch in commercial fisheries, get entangled in ghost nets and marine pollution. Intensive exploitation pre-1980s and these ongoing threats have led to green turtles being listed globally as Endangered and loggerhead and leatherback turtles as Vulnerable to extinction on the IUCN Red List.
One of the major issues facing our coastline is plastic pollution. As well as taking direct action through regular beach clean-ups, we also raise awareness of simple changes people can make in their everyday lives to reduce their consumption of unnecessary single-use plastics and lead by example.
Throughout the year we provide regular outreach and awareness programs to local students, the public and local and international tourists. By raising awareness of the incredible marine biodiversity in Manavgat, the threats facing our local wildlife and habitats, and making more people aware of our projects and activities, we hope to inspire more people to become part of the solution.
Please contact us directly if you would like to register your school’s interest in receiving an outreach program.