Algae are nonvascular aquatic plants, which means they are unable to transmit or circulate fluid. They are a division of the plant kingdom and are generally green, brown or red in color. They have a covering of mucus with a slippery feel, with a means of attachment, to the bottom, (not roots) and they often have a flat or feathery appearance. Species includes Kelps and seaweed and can range in size from phyphotoplankton to giant kelp.

The predominantly rocky shores around the south western shores of Turkey provide a perfect habitat for many species of algae. The very clear waters around the Turkish coast allow plants to thrive at depth due to the availability of light, essential for photosynthesis to occur in plants.

There are so many common types of seaweed to be found in Turkish waters it is impracticable to include them within the scope of this guide. Anyone interested in identifying the various species of seaweed should obtain one of the many botanical books specializing in algae.


Kelp is rare in the relatively warmer waters of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.

EEL GRASS or SEA GRASS (Zostera marina)

There are many fields of eel grass to be found in Turkish waters growing in sandy or muddy areas and between rocky outcrops, reaching as much as one meter in height. Eel grass is not an alga but one of a very few flowering marine plants related to seaweed and terrestrial plants. The flowers are inconspicuous in the leaf bases. Unlike algae it has a complex root system which is very important in the stabilization of sediment and another reason for the exceptionally clarity of the water around this part of the Turkish coast.

Often eel grass is considered by divers to be uninteresting, but close examination will reveal that it provides shelter for a host of marine animals.