Dusky Grouper: The Lord of The Reef

Director: Mert Gökalp

Turkey, 2021



The documentary “Dusky Grouper: The Lord of The Reef” is an underwater documentary that began its first shooting in 2010 and was gradually completed in 10 years. The narrator of the documentary, Mert Gökalp, who is also a former harpooner from a young age, leaves the Petroleum Engineering discipline he studied at METU due to his passion for the sea, and turns to science and nature conservation. Noticing the catastrophic human impact on the coasts and seas, including himself, Mert became attached to Kaş during his academic, photographic and video dives for many years. There, he recorded the area, which was declared a protected area in 2010, records the ban on grouper fishing and the developments in the region. On this journey, he encounters unique underwater stories and blue heroes who set their heart on protecting these creatures or who make a living by hunting and cannot live without the sea. The documentary “Dusky Grouper: The Lord of The Reef” is a deep blue story of effective conservation activities that make us smile in the marine protected areas of Kaş-Kekova and Gökova Bay, shot from a different angle.

About Director

Mert Gökalp was born in 1978 in Ankara. He completed his undergraduate study in METU engineering faculty and his graduate study in physical ocean science and marine biotechnology at Miami and Ankara Universities. Working as a scientist in two EU projects, Mert is currently completing his doctorate at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He has projects such as the Turkey Sea Creatures Guide and the “Nature Guide”, a smartphone application about Mediterranean creatures. Mert has been working as a writer and photographer for Magma Magazine since its establishment. Mert, who has created a total of 19 subjects -including one cover subject, and various short news and interviews for Magma Magazine, has been working as a writer/photographer/videographer and editor. Since 2006 he has worked as a freelancer photography and video artist for various NGOs (WWF, Greenpeace, UNDP, SAD, Fikir Sahibi Damaklar -Slow Food Turkey-), companies and agencies around the world to develop projects. He has worked on four photography exhibitions and documentaries broadcast on Dutch and Turkish TV; such as VPRO, NTR, İIz TV, Yaban TV and BluTV.


Camera: Mert Gökalp, Volkan Çalışır, Cenk Karacalar

Editing: Cenk Karacalar

Sound: Mert Gökalp

Producer: Mert Gökalp