Conservation of sandbar shark breeding habitat in Boncuk Cove,Turkey

Mert Ardar

Boncuk Cove in Gulf of Gökova in Turkey is a rare and important nursery ground for sandbark sharks in the Mediterranean. Recent surveys in 2008 and 2012 clearly show that the cove is actively used by the species throughout the year as well as during the known breeding period in spring. In 2010 the Mediterranean Conservation Society (MCS) successfully established Turkey’s first No Fishing Zones (NFZ) in Gökova Bay, which includes Boncuk Cove and the surrounding coast where breeding sandbar sharks have been frequently observed. However, illegal fishing is still prevalent due to a lack of effective management and enforcement within the NFZ network. This will monitor the sharks in-situ to develop a better understanding of this shy species. Finally, we will build on existing ranger patrols to extend their reach to include Boncuk Cove.