PRESERVING LIFE IN THE MARMARA SEA
The Marmara Sea in Türkiye is a unique habitat for aquatic life escaping damaged ecosystems in the Mediterranean, and DP World Yarimca is pioneering Yellow Coral restoration programmes to save our oceans.
Sanctuary at sea: The Marmara as a lifeline
Connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean - as well as the vital channels of the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits - Türkiye’s landlocked Marmara Sea is pivotal to global trade.
“Corals are the seas’ rainforests, and they are essential for habitat development and formation.Through our project we are sowing the future of sea creatures with our bare hands, 30 meters beneath the surface.”
- Volkan Narcı, Chairman of the Board of Directors, DYKD
Its unique, two-layered current system has created a rich marine habitat that has long been home to many aquatic species. However, recently, the Marmara Sea has become a refuge for sea creatures that have migrated northwards in the wake of coral bleaching in the Mediterranean.
Pillars for life: The Marmara’s Yellow Coral
Waste from large ships and excessive fishing have created episodes of red tide and algal blooms in the Marmara Sea, which have led to the deaths of thousands of sea creatures including the Yellow Gorgonian, a species of soft coral. These Yellow Corals provide the ideal environment for species seeking sanctuary.
Modern techniques to protect our planet
As custodians of the seas around Türkiye, DP World Yarımca - one of the largest container terminals in the country – has found a way to transform trade and protect the environment. Alongside Istanbul University and the Marine Life Conservation Society (DYKD), DP World launched the Yellow Coral Conservation Project. It aims to reverse the damage to Yellow Coral through its restoration, close monitoring techniques, and replanting.
“We are very passionate about this project. We have even trained our volunteers to dive so that we can be involved in every aspect of it. It is quite moving to see the results of our efforts. We are helping to create an environment for the Yellow Coral to protect all sorts of life in the Marmara Sea.”
- Kris Adams, CEO, DP World Yarimca
The first part of the project was for the partners to transport Yellow Coral from the Aegean Sea to Tavşan Island in the Marmara Sea. Now, hundreds of corals have been transplanted to a non-residential area on Tavşan Island, to create a coral reef. The Yellow Coral thrives thanks to the installation of 10 special thermometers 30 meters below the sea, allowing the partners to monitor the temperature of the surrounding waters. These thermometers monitor the temperature over a year, which provides important data to allow the Yellow Coral to continue to reproduce, as well as understand the effects of global warming in the area.
With DP World Yarımca’s financial, logistical, and physical support, more than 70 percent of the Yellow Coral has survived the transplanting phase of the project. But this is a long-term project. The partners aim to ensure that the Yellow Coral thrives over the next 20 years so that a reef is self-sufficient and protected from external damage. Together, the partners are creating the perfect conditions for the Marmara Sea’s healthy habitat.