Fishing ban in Marmara should be extended to whole year: Scientist
Industrial-scale fishing at the Bosphorus, the Dardanelles and the Marmara Sea should be banned, a scientist has said, calling on authorities.
Mustafa Sarı, dean of the Bandırma Onyedi Eylül University’s Maritime Faculty, said that the annual fishing prohibition season, which started on April 15, should be implemented all year round.
“The 19th of the 22 points in the Marmara Sea Protection Action Plan was about implementing sustainable and ecosystem-based fishing and creating protection zones,” he said.
“But we have only banned sales of small-sized anchovy, horse-mackerel and sardinella to fish meal production and fish oil factories,” he added.
The straits of Istanbul and Çanakkale should be closed to all kinds of industrial-scale fishing boats to allow fish species to breed freely in the Marmara Sea, Sarı said.
“Some [fishing] boats are as big as warships. We can’t allow fishing with those big vessels in a small sea. They should be diverted to open sea for larger fish stocks,” the professor added.
Turkey’s fishing season closed on April 15, with a countrywide ban effective until Sept. 1.
The ban is introduced in order to allow fish to lay their eggs. However, smaller vessels engaged in coastal fishing are not subject to the ban. The new season for fishermen in the Mediterranean Sea will resume on Sept. 15.
According to the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry’s data, some 18,500 vessels engaged in fishing activities in the seas and inland waters of Turkey in 2020, and most of them - 11,100 vessels - were between 5 and 7.9 meters in size.
Around 300,000 tons of fish were caught in Turkey in 2020, while the annual fish consumption is roughly 5 kilograms per person, the lowest in Europe.