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No Take Fishing Zones, which is crucially important for the conservation of biodiversity, is only 202 km², 0.01% of the surface of the Mediterranean

Changes in Turkish law to push eco-friendly, sustainable fishing

Click on the flag for more information about Turkey TURKEY
Thursday, November 07, 2019, 19:00 (GMT + 9)

Proposed changes to fisheries law meant to stem marine pollution, crack down on illegal fishing, says lawmaker

ANKARA - Turkey's proposed changes to its fisheries law aim to stem marine pollution, crack down on poaching, and impose heavy penalties, said a ruling party lawmaker.

"This is a new disciplinary mechanism for sustainable fishing, fish resources, and protecting the environment," Ismail Emrah Karayel, a ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party lawmaker, told Anadolu Agency.

Ismail Emrah Karayel ( FILE PHOTO - Anadolu Agency )

The proposed changes were made in coordination with the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry, Fisheries and Aquaculture Directorate, and Turkish Coast Guard, he said.

Speaking at an event discussing changes to the 1971 fisheries law, Karayel, a lawmaker from the central Turkish Kayseri province, said the changes will make the law more relevant and stiffen penalties for wrongdoing.

"First-time offenders found trawling or seine net fishing will have their licenses suspended for a month,” followed by a three-month suspension for the second offense, and revoking the license of third-time offenders, he said.

Under the changes, users of illegal electric pulse, blast fishing, or chemical fishing will also face penalties, he added.

Light fishing -- using artificial light to attract fish -- in the Sea of Marmara, the Black Sea, and the straits of Istanbul and Canakkale will be prohibited, he added.

He also said illegal fishing -- which has grown exponentially in the straits, Black Sea and Marmara Sea -- will be held in check through electronic monitoring and other technological means.

The changes will also bar the introduction of non-native species into Turkish waters.

Suggested No Take Fishing Zones (NTFZ) areas in Gökova Bay were accepted and the designation was officially announced in Turkish Official Gazette, No: 27637, dated 10th of July, 2010

He went on to say that those who pollute water resources will face penalties.

"With this law, the number of fish will rise, and efforts will be made to protect breeding areas," he stressed.

"Turkey earns nearly $1 billion from exports of fishery products, while the country's imports are $150 million. That adds up to an $850 million net profit," he noted.

According to experts, there was a need to update Turkey’s nearly half-century-old fisheries law taking into account technological advances, the needs of the sector, and scientific, environmental, economic, and social factors.

The proposed changes are set to go into effect on Jan. 1.

Source: Burak Bir/Anadolu Agency | Read full article here

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