Dolphins and whales, indicator species for the well being of the ecosystem, are dealing with immense stress as a result of threats reminiscent of overfishing and plastic air pollution, stated Arda Tonay, a school member of Istanbul College’s College of Aquatic Sciences, Division of Marine and Inland Water Assets Administration and vp of the Turkish Marine Analysis Basis (TÜDAV).
Concerning the number of marine species, Tonay stated: “There are eight cetaceous continually discovered within the seas of Türkiye, together with the lengthy whale, puffer, beaked, grampus, bottlenose dolphin, striped dolphin and harbor porpoises. There are additionally minke whales, false killer whales and humpback dolphins in Turkish seas.”
Mentioning that there are three species within the straits of Istanbul, the Dardanelles and the Marmara Sea, Tonay stated that the variety of dolphin and whale species within the basin was not recognized with as we speak’s readability till three years in the past.
“Because of the Settlement on the Conservation of Setase Species Dwelling within the Black Sea, the Mediterranean and the Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS) Survey Initiative (ASI) and eight plane, six ships and 100 scientists from 26 international locations within the Mediterranean in 2018 and within the Black Sea in 2019, we counted whales and dolphins. The examine exhibits that the most important whale within the Mediterranean and the second largest on the earth, the lengthy whale, has a 1,700 grownup inhabitants right here and this species is endangered. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of beaked whales within the Mediterranean is about 6,000 and is reducing. The smallest species of the Black Sea basin, the harbor porpoise, with a most size of 1.5 meters, are estimated to quantity between 100,000-250,000,” Tony defined.
Mentioning the variety of lifeless harbor porpoises caught within the Black Sea, Tonay stated, “Solely within the Western Black Coastline of Türkiye, about 2,000 harbor porpoises die annually.”
Stating that whales and dolphins, which characterize the highest of the meals chain within the seas, are indicator species for the well being of the ecosystem, “If there’s a whale and dolphin someplace, the ecosystem is at an appropriate stage,” Tonay stated.
“Whales are animals that may dive deep, as much as 2,000-3,000 meters, and feed on deep-dwelling squid. After they defecate, they arrive to the floor to breathe. They use phytoplankton and photosynthesis. Fifty p.c of the air we breathe comes from phytoplankton. The system is likely one of the largest and pulling something out of it should trigger the system to crash,” he added.
Threats to marine life
Emphasizing that fishing actions high the stress elements that threaten the species, Tonay drew consideration to the truth that small species that aren’t conscious of the fishing nets are caught within the nets by likelihood. Along with the specter of overfishing, air pollution weakens the immune system of animals, whales and dolphins.
“Research, reminiscent of seismic analysis within the seas, can be harmful for deep-diving species,” Tonay identified.
Explaining that plastic waste is one other stress issue, Tonay stated: “There are animals which have loads of plastic waste of their abdomen. This will trigger their loss of life or have an effect on their diving. Final 12 months, we eliminated plastic buckets and luggage from the abdomen of a puffer whale.”
Mentioning that information relating to the fish inhabitants within the seas is vital by way of creating protected areas, Tonay said, “There may be not even a single protected space within the Black Sea.”
ACCOBAMS, which Türkiye signed in 2018, is crucial safety settlement for marine mammals. Through the celebration of the twenty fifth anniversary of ACCOBAMS’s founding, a ebook was launched in regards to the seas by the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco with the participation of Prince Albert II. The ebook is free and could be downloaded from the ACCOBAMS web site for anybody who wish to find out about these distinctive animals.