Above-average water temperature in Black Sea leads to poor catch

Above-average water temperature in Black Sea leads to poor catch

SAMSUN – Demirören News Agency
Above-average water temperature in Black Sea leads to poor catch

With the water temperature level persisting above seasonal norms in the Black Sea, fishermen did not reach their desired levels of hunting, triggering high prices for fish.

Experts had said in the beginning of September, when fishing season in Turkey kicked off towards the end of the month, as more boats hunted, the prices would naturally decrease.

But things did not go as planned, with the water temperature in the Black Sea persisting above the seasonal norms.

The horse mackerel (“istavrit” in Turkish) was sold at the Samsun Metropolitan Municipality Fish Market at 5-10 Turkish Liras ($0.9-$1.75) per kilogram in the first days of September, but now the price has gone up to 18-20 liras ($3.1-$3.5).

The whiting (“mezgit” in Turkish), on the other hand, is currently sold at a price of 30-35 liras per kilogram, whereas red bullet (“barbun” in Turkish) at 40 liras, sea bass at 35 liras and salmon at 30 liras.

A local fisherman said that they had initially thought that the seas would be rich in fish, but “things did not turn out as they hoped.”

“Acorn [‘palamut’ in Turkish] has been very low in quantities since the beginning of the season and we do not think they will increase in the rest of the season. Apart from that, we are selling whiting, red bullet, horse mackerel and small bluefish [‘çinekop’ in Turkish]; but since the fish being low in quantities, the prices are a bit high,” said Mustafa Çubuk.

“I do not think that the prices will fall very much in the rest of the season, but if the weather gets a bit cooler, there will be more fish,” he said.

Experts have also warned against unconscious urbanization, pollution and overfishing, saying that these are other reasons for the decline in the number of fishes in Turkish seas.

Coşkun Erüz, an academic at the marine sciences faculty at Karadeniz Technical University (KTÜ), said that the seas being filled up for urban use is a “blow to the future of fish populations.”

“The main reason of this [the decrease in fish populations] is [humans] taking away their physical conditions and the over-pollution of the coasts chemically. And apart from that, if we continue to do overhunting, the fish, which are low in numbers anyway, will go extinct,” he said.

Prof. Dr. Ertuğ Düzgüneş, of the Department of Fisheries Technology Engineering at KTÜ, said that there was an urgent need for a “fish hunting management plan.”

“The conditions have gradually worsened for the fish. There is a contrary belief which is that if we hunt more, we will gain more. But no, if you hunt more, fish prices will fall. And you will end up hunting for small-sized fish, which would be normally the parents of next year’s yield. So that would be shooting oneself in the foot,” said Düzgüneş.