Fishing ban to be lifted for 1 day in Bosphorus

Fishing ban to be lifted for 1 day in Bosphorus

Fishing ban to be lifted for 1 day in Bosphorus

Following the decision that the fishing ban in Istanbul’s Bosphorus will be lifted for one day on Nov. 6, many experts and fishermen have warned that allowing fishing during a period of intense fish migration will harm the ecosystem.

The General Directorate of Maritime Affairs affiliated with the Transport and Infrastructure Ministry decided to open the Bosphorus to industrial fish vessels for 14 hours from 12 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 6, when intensive migration of fish will occur.

According to the decision, the Bosphorus will be closed to commercial ship passages.

While experts and fishermen criticized the decision, many fishermen applied to Presidential Communications Center (CIMER) to express their concerns.

The Bosphorus in Istanbul, which is the transition sea between the Marmara Sea, the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea, is the habitat of many fish species, said Saadet Karakulak, a member of Istanbul University’s Marine Sciences Faculty.

Allowing fishing during the migration period will have consequences on the habitat and fishing industry in the long run, Karakulak added.

“An unprecedented decision has been taken. The Bosphorus should be completely closed to industrial fishing,” said Erol Örkçü, the head of a fishing association in Istanbul.

“We can never accept this decision, which is a step towards the collapse of the country’s fisheries,” expressed Erdoğan Kartal, the head of a fishery’s cooperative union.

Fishing is restricted in the Bosphorus, which is a biological corridor between the Black Sea, one of the richest seas in the world in terms of fisheries and the rivers it feeds, and the Mediterranean Sea, which has semi-tropical characteristics.

Even during the fish hunting season, industrial fishermen can only cast nets up to 18 meters deep, while fishing is not allowed in areas where ship traffic flows.