Initial impact results from our 2015 Blue Initiative Grant

CMG is pleased share initial impact results from our 2015 Blue Initiative Grantee. Last year, the Mediterranean Conservation Society (AKD) and its innovative founder Zafer Kizilkaya launched a community campaign to promote the catch & consumption of more than five different species of invasive fish in Turkey's Gokova Bay. Through a summer fish tasting festival, invasive fish recipe cards, and two short films, AKD’s team successfully reached out to local fish markets, restaurants and consumers. The films, which marketed the attractiveness of incorporating the invasives into the local, daily diet, were shown locally in the fisherwomen’s cooperative market, as well as in local restaurants. One of the short films they produced with the Blue Initiative Grant, called Delicious Invasive Species, is viewable below.

As a result of AKD’s invasive fisheries campaign, the fishing habits of the local people have changed for the better and their daily fishing incomes have increased. Prior to the campaign, the fisherwomen’s cooperative market could not even sell most of their invasive species catch. However, according to AKD’s daily catch records, the consumption and popularity of invasive species has increased 400% and the price of these fishes has grown at least 20% in the past year, substantially adding to the success of this community-managed marine protected area. AKD's videos and campaign have had many benefits: consuming the invasive species reduces the invasive population, creating new income for local fishermen & women, providing more affordable food sources for locals, and offering an overall boost to the local economy.

Through the CMG Blue Initiative, AKD has also created a short film about fisherwomen, for fisherwomen. They have just released the film which profiles these strong and courageous women as they tell their stories of family hardship, of the volatile fishing economy, and the promise of recovery that sustainable fishing brings. Through the film, the Mediterranean Conservation Society aims to support & train more than 100 local fisherwomen in sustainable fishing techniques throughout Gokova Bay. 

Read more about the Mediterranean Conservation Society's Blue Initiative HERE.  Watch AKD's video Delicious Invasive Species below: