Lessepsian Migration - Murat Draman, PhD
Whilst diving in the Aegean and the Med in the 90's, I heard that some
of the big-eyed fish hiding under the rocks had actually come from the
Red Sea. Since then, impressed by this region and having decided to
base my professional activities here, I have the opportunity to follow
my interest in the amazing biodiversity and dynamics of Kaş underwater.
I must say that having the privilege to dive 12 months a year in
Kaş-Kekova Marine Protected Area and being a stakeholder in this region
made me see it as a duty to record and document my observations.
A closed sea, the evolution of the Mediterranean is affected profoundly
by invasive species. Our region, given its geographical position, is
influenced by those coming through the Suez Canal. Since its earliest
days, this “lessepsian” migration has attracted the interest of
scientists, documentary directors and divers alike. We, who are making
a living here in scuba diving, are following the changing biodiversity
with curiosity and sometimes with concern. If you see any possibly
foreign species anywhere on the Mediterranean, please let us know by
filling the form at the end of this book and sending it to us. This
will help scientists monitor such invasive sightings. We will get beck
to you with species information.
With this book, without a presumption of being scientific or complete,
but rather tentatively an aesthetic approach, I offer my underwater
observations on Red Sea species seen in this region between 2000 - 2015
with 128 photographs of 58 species. Commentaries, I have tried to keep
as short as possible, aim at providing some species-specific or local
information, through the eyes of a diver.
A lot of persistence, patience and endless photos went into hundreds of
dives that were also food for my soul. I hope I may share these
creatures with those who look underwater with love and curiosity,
through a window that mainly opens towards their beauty. It's hard not
to be amazed by nature's creatures, but those that are underwater are
harder to reach and mysterious: impossible to reveal those fabulous
colours without the flashlights of underwater cameras. This is our one
privilege, I hope you enjoy looking through this window too!