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Most seals in the world live on the coasts of Greece and Turkey.

The Mediterranean monk seal pup, which is under the protection of extinction in the world, came to the shores of Antalya and played in the waves. prof. Dr. Mehmet Gökoğlu stated that seals prefer clean beaches and warned people not to enter the habitats of these creatures.

Akdeniz University (AU) Faculty of Fisheries Faculty Member Prof. Dr. Mehmet Gökoğlu made statements about the endangered Mediterranean monk seals, which were recently seen by people on the coasts and beaches of Antalya.

Stating that the seals are among the marine mammals, Gökoğlu underlined that the Mediterranean seal is an endemic species unique to the Mediterranean. Mehmet Gökoğlu stated that the Mediterranean monk seals, whose scientific name is “monachus monachus”, have been detected on the Turkish coasts around Samsun, Marmara Island, Izmir Foça, Fethiye coasts, Gökova Bay, Antalya and Mersin coasts.

Stating that the number of Mediterranean monk seals in the world varies between 500 and 700, Gökoğlu said, “It is one of the mammals on the red list. The most important feature of the Mediterranean monk seal is that it lives in clean areas. The situation we are in is pleasing in this respect, which is an indication that there is no pollution in that region. The natural life of seals still continues in Antalya cliffs. Recently, there has been a recovery in the seal populations in our country. Three quarters of the 600-700 seals in the world live on the coasts of Greece and Turkey. Protection is effective in this,” he said.


Pointing out that seals are not creatures that produce many offspring, Gökoğlu said, “They breed especially in September, October and November, and wean them during these months. She breastfeeds for about 4-5 months and weans the baby. We see beautiful images of these puppies on our beaches. Weaned baby seal plays among the waves. Or approaching people at the beach. Or we see him being photographed when he comes ashore,” he said.


Gökoğlu warned people once again not to approach or disturb the seals and said, “When a seal is seen, it should not be approached. Because seals are creatures that bond very quickly with people. It is not necessary to enter their natural life. The image can be taken from afar, but it is not right to get close to them and take a video. “When he gets used to it, he wanders among us. He approaches the fisherman, enters his net and dies. These wild animals can bite when they enter among people. It is best not to approach this creature and leave it in its natural state.”


Gökoğlu stated that the weaning seals, which have just learned to hunt, come to the shore and sunbathe and play among the waves, which are beautiful images. Emphasizing that they sometimes encounter sad situations related to seals, Gökoğlu stated that sometimes they die due to events such as storms and sometimes being caught in a net. Mentioning that seals are wandering creatures, Mehmet Gökoğlu added that the seal in Antalya cliffs can be seen in Kemer, in Manavgat, in Gelidonya.


Pointing out that there is another sweet rush on the Mediterranean coast these days, Gökoğlu said, “The hatchlings of the first egg-laying caretta carettas started to hatch. But there are still some who continue to lay eggs. There are citizens trying to shoot a video while this creature will go ashore and lay eggs. Do not disturb these creatures. This should not be done. There were also images of the green turtle being tortured by tourists. This is wrong, we are entering their living space.”


The opinions expressed herein are the author’s and not necessarily those of News2Sea.

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