This article was written for Fethiye Times by John Fedorowycz

An innovative environmental event took place close to Kalkan beach on Tuesday 11th June, aimed at raising awareness about levels of plastic in our seas and oceans.

This was the culmination of a local schools Environmental Awareness Project, initiated by a number of eco-aware Kalkan residents under the banner of ‘Eco Kalkan/Çevreçi Kalkan’ and co-ordinated by the local AKUT search and rescue organisation.

Local resident, Rose Shuttleworth with a representative from AKUT. Photo Credit: Thomas James / Kalkan Eventi Fotografi

The idea was to create a permanent reminder of the damage being done to the marine environment through discarded plastic. This is in the form of a large metal cage shaped like a fish that was installed behind Kalkan beach, which is to be filled with empty plastic bottles.

The fish cage was made by local schools as part of an Environmental Awareness Project. Photo Credit: Thomas James / Kalkan Eventi Fotografi
Students from local schools installing the fish in it’s new home behind the beach in Kalkan. Photo Credit: Thomas James / Kalkan Eventi Fotografi

A number of schoolchildren contributed to the event by creating colourful drawings and paintings on environmental themes.

The children also showed off a number of interesting cardboard box creations. A marine themed mural was painted on a wall behind the fish cage.

Marine themed mural on the wall behind the fish cage. Photo Credit: Thomas James / Kalkan Eventi Fotografi
The mural was painted by High School students. Photo Credit: Thomas James / Kalkan Eventi Fotografi

The event was well attended with many local residents and visitors taking time to look at the new fish cage and the art work on display. Home made cakes were particularly popular and sold like – well, hot cakes!

The local AKUT team and the animal charity KAPSA had stalls explaining what they do.

The event included a performance from children from Çayköy Ortaokulu led by their inspirational teacher, Emin Gülören.

This eye-catching ‘fishy’ installation will hopefully serve as a reminder that too many real fish out there in the Mediterranean Sea also contain particles of plastic – something that is disastrous not only for the fish but for all of us.

The organisers would like to thank everyone who contributed to this eco event and especially the schoolchildren who appear to understand very well the importance of looking after the environment for future generations.