A joined-up effort to try to prevent the water of Fethiye Bay turning green again next summer began with a meeting yesterday involving representatives from a number of organisations who have pledged to play a part.

Algal blooms first began in the early summer, the vivid green colour of the sea water visible from the Kordon prompting concern among both visitors and businesses who demanded action from the authorities.

However, although all parties agreed swift action was necessary, exactly what should be done and by whom remained debatable; some blamed run-off from farmland, some the overloaded sewerage infrastructure while there was also a degree of finger-pointing among rival politicians.

Algal bloom in Fethiye
The discoloured water in Fethiye Bay, pictured in August.

First meeting

Experts were called in to offer advice but the first meeting of a working committee set up to confront the issue convened yesterday and was addressed first by Fethiye Council’s Secretary General Melek Gözde Gürsoy.

Executive council member Birol Keski also offered an assessment of the history behind some of the issues which are believed to have been responsible.

His input was also supplemented by contributions from the district’s Director of Agriculture, the presidents of both the region’s chambers of shipping and commerce, the deputy mayor of Fethiye, university lecturers and a representative from a number of non-government organisations.

Working groups

As a result, four working groups have now been established to co-ordinate action – one each for coastal areas, waterways, the sea and agricultural land.

Having given their initial views on potential solutions, they will now begin meetings to come up with a coordinated approach which it is hoped will limit and eventually prevent future algal blooms in Fethiye Bay. More updates have been promised as solutions unfold.