Fishing nets in depths of Bosphorus Strait threatening marine wildlife: Experts
Fishermen using cast nets in the depths of the Bosphorus Strait and close to its shores on big fishing boats are threatening marine wildlife, experts have warned.
The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry permits industrial fishing at 24 meters of depth offshore and in seas, but fishermen have been throwing nets from their large fishing boats close to the banks of the Bosphorus Strait.
Some of them fish just 20 meters from the shore, warned officials, saying, various species existing in the seabed could be go extinct soon, daily Hürriyet reported.
Those fishing solo by the Bosphorus are also angry, with one saying, “The numbers and variety of the fish species in the Bosphorus have decreased.”
Saadet Karakulak, an academic from Istanbul University, stressed the Bosphorus is marine passage for fish.
“Officials must ban the fishing boats which are more than 20 meters long from hunting at the Bosphorus. Coastal areas are important for biodiversity. They are the regions where the fish survive.”
She also warned that fishing in coastal regions would damage the sea floor habitat.
“The fish stock in the province has fallen. This kind of fishing must be stopped,” said Serkan İnanç, the head of the Amateur and Anglers Federation (ASOF).
İlhan Keskin, a 47-year-old local from Istanbul’s Sarıyer district, who has been fishing for 20 years is also worried about the fishing trend. “They fish just in front of the coastline. They take all the seed fish away and go. They leave nothing to us, the anglers,” noted Keskin.
Necati Alay, another angler from Sarıyer, said fishermen on the boats are not bothered by the complaints. “Sometimes we react to them from the shore. They say, ‘We have the legal permission’ and they just go on,” Alay said.
The Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Directorate said they have tightened controls.
“In Greece you cannot conduct industrial fishing at regions less than 40 meters deep. In most European countries there is a 50-meter limit. In Istanbul, this length is 24 meters. We need new regulations,” Karakulak said.