Preliminary findings on Cuvier’s beaked whale mass stranding in Northern Cyprus

Preliminary findings on Cuvier’s beaked whale mass stranding in Northern Cyprus

Arda M. Tonay, Işıl Aytemiz Danyer, İlayda Taşkaya, Erdem Danyer, Neslihan Öznur, Ayhan Dede, Ahmet Gülçubuk, Gülay Yüzbaşıoğlu Öztürk, Sabri Hacıoğlu, Tayfun Çanakcı, Ayaka Amaha Öztürk

ORCID IDs: A.M.T. 0000-0003-2718-9328; I.A.D. 0000-0003-4658-1819; İ.T. 0009-0008-3180-6054; E.D. 0000-0002-7922-7384; N.Ö. 0009-0003-0229-1091; A.D. 0000-0002-7712-615X A.G. 0000-0002-9722-8831; G.Y.Ö. 0000-0002-1761-0409;
S.H. 0000-0002-5493-0807; T.Ç. 0000-0002-6551-6820; A.A.Ö. 0000-0003-2281-7372

Faculty of Aquatic Sciences, Istanbul University, Fatih, Istanbul, TÜRKİYE
Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV), Beykoz, Istanbul, TÜRKİYE
Cyprus Wildlife Research Institute, Taşkent Doğa Parkı, Taşkent, Kyrenia, CYPRUS
Veterinary Control Central Research Institute, 06020, Etlik, Ankara, TÜRKİYE
TRNC Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Veterinary Department Directorate, Lefkoşa, Nicosia, CYPRUS
Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Istanbul University-Cerrahpaşa, Büyükçekmece, Istanbul, TÜRKİYE


Cuvier’s beaked whales, Ziphius cavirostris, one of the regular cetacean species of the Mediterranean Sea, are affected by underwater noise, mainly shipping, naval exercise and seismic operations worldwide. Between 9 February – 6 March 2023 but mostly in 9-10 February, at least 13 beaked whales stranded in the northwest and west of the Cyprus Island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. This study presents the preliminary findings of necropsy, histopathology and virology of six individuals and compiles information on the present human threats in the region at the time of the incident. Histopathological findings did not provide a clear result. However, intense congestion was seen in both macroscopic and histopathological examinations. The presence of undigested fresh squid in the stomach is an indicator of sudden death. Besides, intravascular gas bubbles in macroscopic examination were in line with the general findings in previous studies on beaked whale strandings after they had died due to military exercises. As a precautionary approach, activities generating impulsive underwater noise need to follow the ACCOBAMS Mitigation Guideline and if not they should halt particularly in areas where cetaceans presence is known. In a further note, all the Parties of ACCOBAMS are expected to refrain from conducting naval exercises involving sonar or underwater bursts near “Areas of Particular Concern for Beaked Whales”, taking into account the ACCOBAMS resolution 5.13 of 2013 and urges the implementation of underwater noise mitigation strategies in the fragile habitats of the eastern Mediterranean Sea. 

Keywords: Ziphius cavirostris, eastern Mediterranean Sea, military exercise, impulsive underwater noise, mitigation, ACCOBAMS

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Ichthyoplankton assemblages of the Karaburun-Ildır Bay Special Environmental Protection Area, central Aegean Sea, Türkiye

Ichthyoplankton assemblages of the Karaburun-Ildır Bay Special Environmental Protection Area, central Aegean Sea, Türkiye

Sinan Mavruk, Gürkan Akbulut, Ali Egemen Demircan,  Haluk Yılmaz, Onur Gönülal 

ORCID IDs: S.M. 0000-0003-1958-0634; G.A. 0000-0002-9593-154X; A.E.D. 0009-0004-0846-8289; H.Y. 0009-0007-4295-6894; O.G. 0000-0002-1621-0892

Department of Marine Biology, Fisheries Faculty, Çukurova University, 01330, Balcalı/Adana, TÜRKİYE
Faculty of Aquatic Sciences, Istanbul University, Onaltı Mart Şehitleri Cad. No: 2, 34134 Vezneciler, Fatih/Istanbul, TÜRKİYE


Designating marine protected areas is widely acknowledged as a highly effective strategy for marine conservation and resource management. In 2019, the Karaburun-Ildır Bay area (the eastern central Aegean Sea, Türkiye) was declared as a Special Environmental Protection Area (SEPA) by the Republic of Türkiye, Ministry of Environment, Urbanization, and Climate Change. In this study, we investigated the ichthyoplankton biodiversity of the Karaburun-Ildır Bay SEPA and its potential as a spawning and nursery ground for marine teleost fishes. Ichthyoplankton samples were collected from ten locations in May 2022, September 2022, and August 2023. Early life stages from 62 species representing 26 families were recorded in the area. A total of 6818 eggs of 28 species and 844 larvae of 50 species were sampled during the study. The early life stages of sparids and mullids were dominant in May while the eggs and larvae of small pelagic fish, especially those of Engraulis encrasicolus and Sardinella aurita, were dominant in August and September. Early life stages of only three non-native fish, Bregmaceros nectabanus, Upeneus moluccensis and Mullidae sp.L1 were found in the study. Our findings indicate that the Karaburun-Ildır Bay SEPA has an important potential for conservation of many commercial fish species as a spawning and nursery area.

Keywords: Biodiversity, fish larva, fish egg, Marine Protected Area

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Structural and technical analysis of fish farms operating in the Karaburun-Ildır Bay Special Environmental Protection Area

Structural and technical analysis of fish farms operating in the Karaburun-Ildır Bay Special Environmental Protection Area

Deniz D. Tosun, Mustafa Yıldız, Kadir Doğan, Menekşe Didem Demircan

ORCID IDs: D.D.T. 0000-0001-6612-6624; M.Y. 0000-0002-6774-1466; K.D. 0000-0002-4601-776X; M.D.D. 0000-0002-3571-4682

Department of Aquaculture and Fish Diseases, Division of Aquaculture, Faculty of Aquatic Sciences, Istanbul University, TÜRKİYE
Department of Aquaculture and Fish Diseases, Division of Fish Diseases, Faculty of Aquatic Sciences, Istanbul University, TÜRKİYE


This manuscript investigates the aquaculture practices in the Karaburun region, located in the İzmir Province of Türkiye, known for its natural beauty and marine biodiversity. Focusing on the Karaburun-Ildır Bay Special Environmental Protection Area (SEPA), covering 946.56 km2 of the Aegean Sea, the study evaluates its ecological significance, emphasizing its diverse terrestrial vegetation and rich marine ecosystem. Managed by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, the SEPA aims to protect the natural and cultural heritage while promoting sustainable development.

In response to global challenges against the decline of wild fish populations, aquaculture emerges as a solution aligned with the principles of blue growth and sustainability. However, aquaculture faces challenges requiring sustainable practices to mitigate environmental and socio-economic impacts. The manuscript delves into aquaculture practices in the Karaburun region, specifically focusing on off-shore mariculture technology and its emphasis on European sea bass and gilthead sea bream production.

Through on-site surveys with fish farms in the Karaburun-Ildır Bay SEPA, the study provides a comprehensive analysis of the region’s aquaculture industry. The results include the determination of 13 actively engaged companies with a total of 36 licenses, a combined licensed aquaculture production capacity of 49,240 tons/year, and a present production output of 48,470 tons/year. The workforce comprises 486 individuals, including 74 engineers. The region’s annual production includes 27,840 tons of sea bass, 14,610 tons of gilt-head bream, 1,820 tons of meagre, and 4,200 tons of tuna.

The findings underscore the region’s importance in Türkiye’s aquaculture landscape, emphasizing its potential for sustainable development. The manuscript provides valuable insights into the sector’s contributions to the regional and national economy, serving as a foundation for future studies and policy considerations.

Keywords: Aquaculture, Special Environment Protection Area, Karaburun Peninsula, fish farming, sea bass, sea bream

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New Mediterranean records of Istiblennius cf. meleagris: further documented observations from Lebanon

New Mediterranean records of Istiblennius cf. meleagris: further documented observations from Lebanon

Francesco Tiralongo, Ghazi Bitar

ORCID IDs: F.T. 0000-0002-1625-0149; G.B. 0000-0003-0270-5613

Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Catania, Catania, ITALY
Ente Fauna Marina Mediterranea, Scientific Organization for Research and Conservation of Marine Biodiversity, Avola, ITALY
Institute for Biological Resources and Marine Biotechnologies, National Research Council, Ancona, ITALY
Department of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Lebanese University, Hadath, LEBANON


Istiblennius cf. meleagris (Blenniidae) was observed and photographed in 2017 in Lebanese waters. With this note we report additional records of this non-native and likely invasive species in the eastern Mediterranean. In light of the increasing surface temperature, the potential for its establishment and further expansion in the Mediterranean Basin is high.

Keywords: Non-indigenous fish, Istiblennius meleagris, Lebanese waters, eastern Mediterranean, alien species

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Badreddine, A., Tiralongo, F. (2022) The expansion of the peacock rockskipper Istiblennius meleagris (Valenciennes, 1836) in the eastern Mediterranean Sea: first record from the Lebanese intertidal reefs. Journal of Fisheries & Livestock Production 10: 1000362.

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Brief overview of fisheries management in the Black Sea: Türkiye and EU member states

Brief overview of fisheries management in the Black Sea: Türkiye and EU member states

Nazlı Demirel, M. İdil Öz, Onur Gönülal

ORCID IDs: N.D. 0000-0003-4542-9276; M.İ.Ö. 0000-0001-9235-7530; O.G. 0000-0002-5559-3953

Institute of Marine Sciences and Management, Istanbul University, 34134, Fatih, Istanbul, TÜRKIYE
Vocational School of Marine Technologies, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, 17000, Merkez, Çanakkale, TÜRKIYE
Faculty of Aquatic Sciences, Istanbul University, 34134, Fatih, Istanbul, TÜRKIYE


The Black Sea is divided into six Exclusive Economic Zones for each of the bordering countries. This study offers a brief evaluation of fisheries management in the Black Sea, focusing on the divergent approaches of Türkiye and EU member states, Bulgaria and Romania. It highlights the common challenges of managing shared fishery resources in a region characterized by varied regulatory frameworks and policies. EU’s Common Fisheries Policy claims a unified approach for member states where Türkiye follows an independent path, reflective of its unique geopolitical stance. The need for cross-border cooperation and knowledge exchange are underscored to effectively manage the semi-enclosed and transboundary nature of the Black Sea. In addition, the role of the EU funds in supporting sustainable fisheries practices and the constitution of regional cooperation are also briefly assessed. The high number of ongoing initiatives prioritizing sustainable utilization of the Black Sea is determined to be the demonstrations of the collective effort of the countries toward sustainable marine resource management. The study concludes that the effectiveness of any initiatives depends on the extent of collaboration among all Black Sea countries and a cooperative, science-based approach is essential for the long-term sustainability of the marine ecosystems and fisheries in the Black Sea.

Keywords: Fisheries policy, sustainability, regional cooperation, Romania, Bulgaria, Türkiye

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Vol.30 – 2024 – No.1

Introductory pages

Preliminary findings on Cuvier’s beaked whale mass stranding in Northern Cyprus
Arda M. Tonay, Işıl Aytemiz Danyer, İlayda Taşkaya, Erdem Danyer, Neslihan Öznur, Ayhan Dede, Ahmet Gülçubuk, Gülay Yüzbaşıoğlu Öztürk, Sabri Hacıoğlu, Tayfun Çanakcı, Ayaka Amaha Öztürk

Ichthyoplankton assemblages of the Karaburun-Ildır Bay Special Environmental Protection Area, central Aegean Sea, Türkiye
Sinan Mavruk, Gürkan Akbulut, Ali Egemen Demircan, Haluk Yılmaz, Onur Gönülal

Structural and technical analysis of fish farms operating in the Karaburun-Ildır Bay Special Environmental Protection Area
Deniz D. Tosun, Mustafa Yıldız, Kadir Doğan, Menekşe Didem Demircan

New Mediterranean records of Istiblennius cf. meleagris: further documented observations from Lebanon
Francesco Tiralongo, Ghazi Bitar

Brief overview of fisheries management in the Black Sea: Türkiye and EU member states
Nazlı Demirel, M. İdil Öz, Onur Gönülal