Turkey dominant in fishing sector in Black Sea, Mediterranean, says report
Turkey is one of six countries leading the fishing sector in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean out of the 24 member countries of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), according to a two-year report released on Dec. 14.
The report named the “State of Mediterranean and Black Sea Fisheries” (SoMFI 2020) underlined that Turkey, along with Tunisia, Italy, Greece, Egypt and Algeria dominates the sector.
“The fishing fleet in operation in the GFCM area of application [the Mediterranean and the Black Sea] in 2019 consists of 87,600 fishing vessels and a total fishing capacity of around 903,000 gross tonnage,” said the report.
“Four countries, Turkey, Tunisia, Greece and Italy, account for around 60 percent of the total fishing fleet,” it added.
The combined landings for the Mediterranean and the Black Sea in 2018 amount to 1.1 tonnes, excluding tuna-like species. “Turkey is the main producer with 274,000 tonnes, 23.3 percent of the total, followed by Italy with 178,700 tonnes and 15.2 percent, and Algeria with 103,000 tonnes and 8.8 percent,” the report stated.
The report also noted that Turkish fishermen changed their route to the Mediterranean to catch fish.
“In the Mediterranean, the largest increase in catch since 2016 was shown by Turkey with a 20.4 percent jump, while the greatest decrease was shown by Morocco,” said the report.
In the Black Sea during the same period, Georgia and Romania showed the most evident increase, whereas “Turkey’s contribution to Black Sea landings decreased by around 13 percent.”
Turkey is also a dominant country in the socio-economical side of the fishing sector.
“Total revenue from marine capture fisheries in the GFCM area is estimated at $3.6 billion in 2018,” the report noted, adding that “six countries, namely Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Algeria and Tunisia, account for 83 percent of total revenue.”
According to the report, capture fisheries in the GFCM area support approximately 785,000 jobs. Turkey, along with Tunisia, Algeria, Greece, Egypt and Italy, accounted for 82 percent of total employment onboard fishing vessels during this period.
It also noted that Turkey, along with Morocco, Tunisia, Albania, Croatia, and Greece, is a fish exporter of the GFCM area.
In the Black Sea and the Mediterranean 87,600 fishing vessels operate, and Turkey leads the list with 15,352, reported fishing vessels. Turkish fishermen cover 17.5 percent of the GFCM area operating fishermen.
“Turkey represents 82.1 percent of the total fleet in the Black Sea,” added the report.
Five countries alone account for around 63 percent of the total fishing capacity in the GFCM area, and Turkey also led this list with 19 percent, followed by Italy and Tunisia.
The “Landings per year” list in the report underlined that Turkish fishermen had an abundance of fish in 2017. “In 2016, Turkey made around 260,000 tonnes of total landings in 2016 and around 250,000 in 2018. In 2017, this number was around 311,000 tonnes of fish,” said the report.
In the eastern Mediterranean, landings by weight are mostly split between Greece, Egypt and Turkey, which together account for 94.6 percent of all landings in the subregion, followed by Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Israel and Cyprus.
Finally, in the Black Sea, Turkey brings in the largest share of landings by weight with 57.6 percent, followed by Georgia, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine.