Black Sea fish stocks dwindle, warns expert


TRABZON

The amount of fish caught in 2021 declined across the country, while water pollution and overfishing reduced the Black Sea’s fish stocks, according to an expert.

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Emphasizing in particular overfishing, Ahmet Şahin of the Sürmene Faculty of Marine Sciences of Karadeniz Technical University (KTÜ), warned: “The amount of fish caught in the Black Sea has visibly decreased.

“We are acting unconsciously,” he added.

According to official data, the amount of fish caught across the country in 2021 decreased by 23% compared to last year.

ahin pointed out that the decrease in the quantity of fish is not only Turkey’s problem. Some 550 million people around the world make a living from fishing.

“However, some 80 percent of the world’s fish stocks are at risk of overfishing,” he said.

He called on the authorities to take action against pollution and overfishing to bring the Black Sea back to its “old days.”

Turkey is one of the six leading countries in the Black Sea and Mediterranean fisheries sector out of the 24 member countries of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), according to a two-year report published on December 14, 2020 .

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The report, titled “State of Mediterranean and Black Sea Fisheries”, highlighted that Turkey, along with Tunisia, Italy, Greece, Egypt and Algeria, dominates the sector.

In the Black Sea and Mediterranean, 87,600 fishing vessels operate, and Turkey tops the list with 15,352 reported fishing vessels. Turkish fishermen cover 17.5 percent of the GFCM area operating fishermen.

“Turkey represents 82.1% of the total Black Sea fleet,” the report adds.

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