End of the fishing season in Turkey – Turkey News
Turkey’s fishing season ended on April 15 with a nationwide ban in effect until September 1, but some fishermen around the Black Sea ended their activities even earlier this year due to the threat of floating naval mines.
The ban is introduced in order to allow fish to lay their eggs. However, small vessels engaged in coastal fishing are not subject to the ban. The new season for fishermen in the Mediterranean Sea will resume later on September 15.
“The catch has been good this season compared to last year. There was no mucilage in the sea,” said Mert Ayan, the head of the Rumeli Kavağı fishing cooperative in Istanbul.
However, he added that some fishermen ended the season 15 days earlier than usual due to threats from drifting naval mines.
“Some of them didn’t even set sail at all because they felt uncomfortable,” Ayan said.
After the outbreak of war between Russia and Ukraine, at least three stray naval mines have been detected off the Turkish coast in the Black Sea since March 26, which the Turkish military defused.
“We are fishing in the Black Sea but have not encountered any mines. Night fishing was banned after the detection of mines,” said Mehmet Arslan. But, he added, their costs, especially fuel costs, were much higher.
Last month, fish prices rose in Istanbul to between 25 and 30 Turkish liras ($1.4 to $1.7) as naval authorities banned fishing in and around the Bosphorus.
With the fishing season now over, there won’t be enough fish, especially fresh fish, on the stalls, which means prices will go up, said İhsan Arslan, who works at a fish restaurant.
“There will be less bluefish, mackerel and anchovies. Currently we offer anchovies for 50 lira, but after the ban it will be around 60-70 lira,” Arslan said.
The authorities carried out more than 193,000 inspections in 2021 to prevent illegal fishing and seized 61,000 tonnes of products, said Agriculture and Forestry in a press release on April 14, recalling that fishermen who wish to continue their operations during the four-and-a-half-month ban shall apply to ministry.
During these inspections, some 7,000 people were fined a total of 27.6 million lira, the statement added.
Some 18,500 vessels were engaged in fishing in seas and inland waters in Turkey in 2020, according to ministry data. Most of them – 11,100 ships – were between 5 and 7.9 meters in length.
Around 300,000 tonnes of fish were caught in Turkey in 2020, while fish consumption is around 5 kilograms per person, the lowest in Europe.