Police search for trawls on fishing boats in Istanbul. AA photo
The head of a fisheries association was allegedly shot by a gang of illegal fishermen in Istanbul for his stance against the illegal practice.
Ahmet Aslan lost his left eye in an armed attack while he was sitting in a teahouse in Istanbul's Rumelikavağı neighborhood, broadcaster NTV reported on its website.
"There is a gang with trawlers, and we are under constant threat," Aslan was quoted as saying.
Defne Koryürek, an activist who has been campaigning against trawler fishing for some time, said it was “horrifying” that illegal fishers were now bold enough to try and assassinate people.
Koryürek said the number of illegal fishing boats in Istanbul had increased from around 50 in the last year to nearly 300 this year.
“We need to be worried if the marine police and the coastguard are incapable of dealing with a few trawlers. The Interior Ministry should act immediately,” she said.
“The act of trawler fishing must be eradicated,” Koryürek said.