Turkey_mapCapital: Ankara
Population: 79.4 million (2015 World Factbook)
GDP: €739 billion (2014 est.)
GDP/capita: €10,515 (2014 est.)

Fish production:
   Marine capture:
266,078 tonnes (2014, Turkstat)
   Freshwater capture: 36,134 tonnes (2014, Turkstat)  
 Aquaculture: 235,133 tonnes live weight (2014, Turkstat)
   Export value: €641m (2014, Turkstat)
   Import value: €206m (2011, FAO)

Overview of the Turkish fisheries and aquaculture sector (Currently under review)

Fishing sector
Turkey is surrounded by four seas, home to several fish species, and giving the country a rich and diverse coastline that supports many activities.

Capture fisheries in Turkey employed some 32,599 people and amounted to about 266,078 tonnes in 2014 from all the seas surrounding the country, the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas, and the Sea of Marmara. The fleet consists of 14,595 vessels. Nearly 5,000 vessels are fishing on the Black Sea, 4,800 on the Aegean while the Sea of Marmara and the Mediterranean have 2,700 and 2,095 respectively. The distribution of catches from each water body is far from uniform. The Black Sea is responsible for approximately three fourths of the annual catches, followed by the Sea of Marmara with about 10%, and the Aegean with 8%. The main species in terms of volume are the small pelagics, anchovies, pilchards, sprats, and horse mackerel which amounted to 73% of the catch in 2014 and which are caught primarily in the Black Sea. They are used almost exclusively for the production of fishmeal and fishoil, two of the main ingredients in fish feed. Fish for human consumption on the other hand comes from all the seas surrounding Turkey though the Black Sea catches are significantly higher than those from the other three.

Processing and trade
Along with rapid growth of farmed fish production, the national seafood processing industry is still not fully formed. Processed fish is aimed mainly at export markets as preferences on the domestic market are primarily for whole fish. Farmed seabass and seabream are exported chilled or frozen as gutted, filleted, in vacuum-sealed trays, and more recently as frozen ready meals. Farmed rainbow trout is filleted and smoked for western markets. Export of seafood includes crustaceans, molluscs, and cephalopods, which may be frozen, preserved, or chilled. The EU is Turkey’s primary market for fish and seafood exports, but exports are increasing to Russia, the Middle East and even the Far East, as well as the US. Turkey also has a tuna ranching industry which catches and fattens tuna for the Japanese market. Turkish imports include frozen mackerel, and other small pelagic fish, salmonids, and cephalopods. Imports of fishmeal and fishoil are also significant due to the large requirement for fish feed, of which fishmeal and fishoil are the main components

Turkey has a dynamic marine aquaculture industry located primarily on the Aegean Sea coast and employing some 8,000 people. Marine fish farming increased from 88.600 t in 2010 to 100.900 t in 2012. The number of vertically integrated groups operating their own hatcheries, fish feed plants, fish farms, and processing and packaging facilities is increasing constantly. The main species farmed in 2014 here are seabass (74,653 tonnes) and seabream (41,873 tonnes). The Black Sea is the site for a modest production of sea-raised trout (4,812 tonnes). There is also a large and growing production of freshwater rainbow trout (107,983 tonnes) in the interior of the country.

Turkey is ranked first in the Mediterranean for seabass farming and second, behind Greece, for seabream. It has a 25% market share of the seabass and seabream trade in Europe.

Conflicts between the marine aquaculture sector and other users of the coast, such as the tourism industry, were reduced significantly about eight years ago when fish farms were pushed offshore. This move contributed to a growth in production, which is projected to increase further to 500,000 tonnes (including trout) in 2023 with the help of freshwater cage production and the recent construction of dams. Well-developed research infrastructure comprising a network of faculties, departments, and laboratories at universities with links to the industry provide a wealth of knowhow as well as a supply of educated employees which will also promote the growth of the sector. And new sectors such as mussel and shrimp farming, which the government is keen to develop, will also play a role in the overall expansion in production. Certification to standards such as GlobalG.A.P., Friend of the Sea, as well as ISO 14000 are becoming widespread.

Latest news about Turkey in the Eurofish Magazine

For more news on Turkey click here.

Other publications

Useful Links for Turkey


• Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock

• Fish Farmers Central Union

• Aegean Exporters Associations

• Turkish Seafood Promotion Committee

If any of the above listed links do not work or if you have a relevant link to add, please let us know by sending us a quick This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .