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Turkey, Restrictions on boats in Göcek lifted

By Sue Richards last modified Apr 07, 2010 11:16 AM
Blue Card Programme - Mugla District The latest news (from the "Daily News": about this proposed scheme, is good news for cruisers in Turkey, for this year at least.

Published: 2010-04-07 11:16:20
Countries: Turkey

Blue Card Programme - Mugla District

The latest news (from the Daily News) about this proposed scheme, is good news for cruisers in Turkey, for this year at least. Our thanks to Jack Marsh for bringing this news item to our attention.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
MARMARİS - Doğan News Agency

Many restrictions aimed at protecting bays near the Aegean towns of Göcek and Dalaman from ship and yacht pollution have been lifted or softened.

The boats will receive a “blue card” and use it at the 30 dumping zones where they can empty their waste. This way, when and where the boats dump their waste will be on record.

Ahmet Özyanık, chairman of the Environmental Protection Agency for Special Areas, or EPASA, told the Doğan news agency the implementation of a “blue card” system, which requires recording when and where boats dump their waste, has been delayed until 2011.

“We have made this decision with cooperation with the professionals of the marine sector,” said Özyanık, adding that the agency has held meetings with the representatives of the Chamber of Shipping.

Sector representatives said having two tanks in the boats and yachts would be a problem for the sector due to the costs and proposed having one tank for both “black water,” the wastewater from toilets, and “grey water,” the water resulting from baths, kitchens and sinks.

“We accepted the proposal, and the only problem for now seems to be the small sailing boats that do not have space for wastewater tanks,” said Özyanık. “We haven’t decided what to do with them, but the idea is to ban them from entering some bays where the pollution situation is very delicate. We wanted sector representatives to come up with a possible solution by May.”

Özyanık noted that the daily tour boats will dump their waste in Fethiye, Göcek and Akyaka when they dock. “There are wastewater tanks in 10 different locations in Fethiye and Göcek,” said Özyanık. “We will also have some additional dump sites. Every boat owner should be able to dump its waste where he docks, so Bodrum and Marmaris Municipalities should build the necessary infrastructure.”

The chairman said the solution would be solved if such a system is established. “If a Blue Voyage boat set sails from Marmaris or Bodrum with empty tanks, it will not be full for at least two days,” he said.

The structure of waves in the region is a major reason strict precautions should be taken to prevent pollution, noted Özyanık. “The bays in Göcek and Dalaman do not have strong waves, so the waste from the sea meets the waste from the land in shallow places and creates swamps,” he said. “For example, the bay between Turmepa and Club Marina in Göcek has turned into a marsh and is now unusable. Almost all our bays risk a similar result. We must prevent pollution in the sea caused by boats and yachts.”

Özyanık recalled that boats were banned from entering Yassıca, which is located in the middle of three islands, adding that the ban was softened. Three boats will be allowed to dock at the area at the same time, and a fourth will have to wait for one boat to leave to enter.

After consulting with sector representatives, the agency also decided to allow boats to enter the Merdivenli Cove, said Özyanık. “We do not want daily boats, Blue Voyage boats and personal yachts to be the sides of an argument,” said the chairman. “They should all come together and come up with a solution, and we can prepare the official rules for that solution. It is easy to have restrictions, but we don’t want to do it. The sector should work on its own rules and obey them.”

Özyanık said a major problem in the bays - tying the boats to trees or rocks, has been solved by planting 50 mooring buoys in the bays around Göcek and Dalaman. “We will add 43 more,” he said. “Everybody can anchor where there are no mooring buoys, but tying the boat to the trees and rocks is strictly forbidden. We have eyebolts in such regions - the boat owners should use them.”

For other noonsite articles about this scheme see New Rules for Cruising Yachts in the Gocek-Dalaman Area and Turkey - Positive Changes Afoot for New Grey Water Regulations.