Editor’s Note to the issue dedicated to the Finike Seamounts (Anaximander) Special Environmental Protection Area, the eastern Mediterranean Sea
ORCID ID: 0000-0001-7844-2448
Faculty of Aquatic Sciences, Istanbul University, Onaltı Mart Şehitleri Cad. No: 2, 34134, Fatih, Istanbul, TÜRKİYE
Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV), P.O. Box: 10, Beykoz, Istanbul, TÜRKİYE
The Finike Seamounts (Anaximander) area was designated as the Special Environmental Protection Area (SEPA) in 2013 by the Turkish government to protect its unique biodiversity components such as rich benthic communities, vulnerable deep sea species and highly migratory species. As the area is not totally inside the territorial waters of Türkiye, this initiative can facilitate and be beneficial for transboundary cooperation in terms of conservation for highly mobile and vulnerable species such as sea turtles, bluefin tuna, seabirds, and cetaceans. Besides, it can be included in the Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI) list under the Barcelona Convention in order to promote bilateral cooperation with the neighbouring countries. Designation as one of the Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs) under the Convention of Biological Diversity is also another option for marine conservation in this region. Finally, the Finike Seamounts SEPA needs a long-term scientific monitoring study to understand both the benthic and pelagic components of its biodiversity. The surveys in 2021 initiated such a study and the papers published in this issue of the journal (Vol.28 No.2) as the results of 2021 surveys provide the baseline data of the Finike Seamounts SEPA to be referred and evaluated for the coming years.
Keywords: Finike Seamounts (Anaximander), marine biodiversity, marine conservation, Special Environmental Protection Area
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