WWF shoots documentary on Turkish artisanal fishery

WWF shoots documentary on Turkish artisanal fishery

WWF shoots documentary on Turkish artisanal fishery

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has released a documentary about artisanal fishing in Turkey, depicting small-scale fishery actors’ problems.

The film named “Guardians of the Seas” points out that artisanal fishers comprise 90 percent of the country’s fishing sector but only benefit from 10 percent of the total fishing.

“The fish stock in the seas is decreasing and the marine ecosystem is rapidly getting polluted and degrading,” Aslı Pasinli, the head of the WWF Turkey, told Demirören News Agency.

The annihilation, she remarked, is not only an environmental issue but also has a socio-economic impact.

“There are Turkish families who continue to perform traditional fishing and earn livings on around 13,000 small boats across the country. The situation will affect them.”

The documentary was shot in the western province of İzmir’s fishing village Mordoğan. “The film tells the establishment story of the Mordoğan Fishery Cooperation and problems traditional fishers face,” Pasinli said.

“The foundation wanted to draw attention to responsibilities these fishermen take for an environmentally sustainable fishery.”

Among the fishermen talking in the documentary was Mustafa Babayiğit, the head of the local cooperative.

He highlighted the main danger, saying, “We do not have mackerel anymore. Bluefish is hardly found. Only the family of Mugilidae survives in our seas.”

Saying that the WWF’s actions to protect the small-scale fishing will continue, Pasinli underlined that keeping the seas alive may only be possible with the help of artisanal fishers.

According to official data, some 291,910 tons of fish were caught in 2020. With some 171,250 tons, anchovy led the fishing list. Sprat fish was a runner-up with 26,804 tons and bonito was ranked third with 22,743 tons.