Fishermen release 30-kilogram fish into sea to protect nature in Turkey’s Antalya
ANTALYATwo amateur fishermen released a 30-kilogram fish into the Mediterranean Sea on June 19 in a bid to protect nature, Doğan News Agency has reported.
Cuma Köksal, 36, and İsmail Okatan, 63, caught the 1.5-meter-long leer fish off the Mediterranean province of Antalya’s Konyaaltı beach.
The fishermen, however, released the fish into the sea, saying it belonged to the sea and not to them.
Köksal said he was offered 1,500 Turkish Liras for the fish but they refused to sell it.
“We went fishing in the early hours of the day in the Konyaaltı beach. We felt a huge fish was reeled. After half an hour, we took it out. But our intention was to release it back into the sea, where it belongs. We did not want to take away the life of the fish, which does not belong to us,” he said.
He added that they wanted to inspire others after they rejected the money offer.
“After what we did, other fishers also released little fishes they caught to the sea. We were very moved when we saw them. We wanted to be a model for such people,” he added.
Okatan described the leer fish as the “king of the Mediterranean.”
“I rarely take home fishes I catch. Fishes are the kings of the Mediterranean and they belong here. I want to encourage people, especially young ones, to do amateur fishing,” he said.
The fishermen received praise from many, especially academics, with Mehmet Gökoğlu, a lecturer at the aquaculture department of Akdeniz University, congratulating them for their action.
“Leer fishes are very precious. If anyone releases such fishes into the sea to protect nature, we should congratulate them. It is an exemplary behavior,” Gökoğlu said.