In Marmara Lake and its surroundings agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing and hunting activities are practiced. Hence, the lake is adversely affected by anthropogenic problems. The lake ecosystem faces four major problems: Hunting: Intensive hunting with too many hunters wandering around the lake and disturbing bird populations (majority of whom are licensed hunters but also a significant number of poachers) Agricultural activities: Activities such as the conversion of coastal sand/mud flats to agricultural fields. Lake water level’s drops because of droughts and rare irrigation periods (which are rented by the local villagers), deliberate burning of reed beds to open new agricultural fields, and eutrophication of the lake waters. This is a result of excessive use of fertilisers in the fields surrounding the lake due for commercial purposes and resulting leaching to the lake via rainfall or groundwater; it causes serious damages to the lake ecosystem.
Invasive species: an other problem in the lake is the introduction of the invasive Prussian Carp (Carassius gibelio) which is known to feed other fishes’ eggs thus reducing the fish diversity. The introduction of this species, which has little commercial value, is critical in terms of biodiversity and fishing activities.
Gordes Dam: Yet another problem is the Gordes Dam that is constructed on Kumcay river which feeds the lake from the North. Built with the objective of providing drinking water to Izmir and completed in 2004, the dam is still not operational. Once it becomes operational, it is foreseen that an important part of the water feeding the lake will be cut off. Since the lake water is already being used for irrigation, water is being transferred from Demirkopru Dam through a channel.
Despite all these problems, for the time being, there aren’t any local groups involved in any protective actions or resistance. While one national environmental NGO, Doga Dernegi, tries to act against those problems, the local population using the lake as their livelihood have not yet any interests in that matter.