Mediterranean monk seals' last shelters under threat
ANTALYAJul 15, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
Jul 15, 2016 12:00 am
Mediterranean monk seals face the thread of extinction, the Underwater Research Society (SAD) said. Some 104 to 105 Mediterranean monk seals live in Turkish waters with some 10 to 15 of them thought to reproduce and live near Antalya's coasts. However, the habitat of the endangered species should be protected, along with the monk seals, the coordinator of the Mediterranean Monk Seal Research Group (AFAG), Cem Orkun Kıraç, said. Turkey is among the four countries where these monk seals live, and this situation brings Turkey a major responsibility, he said.
The foremost enemy of these seals are "settlements and destruction of virgin coasts," Kıraç said. According to Kıraç, illegal fishing of monk seals' prey such as fish, octopus and lobsters add to these these threats. Many diving companies bring tourists to caves where monk seals inhabit in Bodrum, Marmaris, Fethiye, Kaş and Alanya , and they are not warned by officials, he said.
"We should not disturb Mediterranean monk seals in these last shelters where they live" he said, adding that these creatures leave their shelters, eat and reproduce in fear of human diving activities.