Overview of the Turkish fisheries and aquaculture sector
Capture fisheries in Turkey employed some 38,000 people and amounted to about 396,000 tonnes in 2012 from all the seas surrounding the country, the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas, and the Sea of Marmara. The fleet consists of 14,300 vessels greater than 5 m of which 11,800 vessels are less than 10 m. Nearly 5,000 vessels are fishing on the Black Sea, 4,700 on the Aegean while the Sea of Marmara and the Mediterranean have 2,600 and 2,000 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 Mediterranean is the least productive contributing a mere 4% of the total. The main species in terms of volume are the small pelagics, anchovies, pilchards, sprats, and horse mackerel which amounted to 72% of the catch in 2012 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.
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
• Survey of the fish industry in Turkey (2009. 96 pages)
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