Turkey: Blue Card scheme rolled out to all Turkish waters

The Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation has announced that its ‘Blue Card Scheme’ – an environmental program to protect the sea against pollution which was piloted along the coast of the Mugla district from 2010 – is to be rolled out along the rest of the country’s coastline. As reported by IBI News.

Published 11 years ago, updated 5 years ago

Under the scheme, wastewater may not be discharged to the sea, even if over three miles from shore, but must be collected in Grey water tanks, and toilet waste in Blackwater tanks. Waste tanks must be discharged at shore-based pump-out stations.

Now all yachts must have a ‘Blue card’ – a smart card obtainable from marinas or from harbor master’s offices, that records boat and crew details – before the deadline of December 31, 2014, or face a hefty fine. The penalty for the boat owners with no blue card will be TL 10.400 (USD 5200).

Currently, there are 37 waste taking points and 7 waste taking ships to exist in Mugla in the south of the country. 16 waste taking points exist in Antalya. Last year 150.000 cubic meters waste was gathered in Mugla and 20.000 cubic meters was gathered in Antalya.

Editor’s Notes

In Turkey, all floating objects are labeled “ships”, from Supertankers and cruise liners down to small cruising yachts and fishing boats and the regulations have not as yet been modified for the different sizes and uses of vessels. Quite clearly it will not be possible for many smaller cruising boats to accommodate a grey water tank, however, boats have historically been fined quite drastically for minor transgressions and it is therefore wise for yachts to comply as best they can whilst sailing in these waters.

As one forum user says, “We can’t all go on complaining about how mucky our favorite cruising ground, “the Med” is getting, without at least considering that by being there, we too are contributing to this mess, even if on a small scale… think globally, act locally and get the tanks fitted… just as long as there is somewhere to have them pumped out.”

See original report about the launch of this scheme in 2010 here – Turkey: New Rules for Cruising Yachts in the Mugla Area (Bodrum to Fethiye)

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