Fish stock in Black Sea decreasing, warns expert

The amount of fish caught in 2021 has decreased across the country, while water pollution and overfishing have reduced the fish stock in the Black Sea, according to an expert.

Stressing especially on overfishing, Ahmet Şahin from Sürmene Marine Sciences Faculty of Karadeniz Technical University (KTÜ), warned, "The amount of fish caught in the Black Sea decreased visibly."

"We are acting unconsciously," he added.

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

Şahin pointed out the decrease in the amount of fish is not only Turkey's problem. Some 550 million across the globe make a living by fishing.

"However, some 80 percent of the fish stock in the world face the threat of overfishing," he said.

He called on authorities to take action against pollution and overfishing to get the Black Sea to go back to its "old days."

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

The report, named the "State of Mediterranean and Black Sea Fisheries," underlined that Turkey, along with Tunisia, Italy, Greece, Egypt and Algeria, dominates the sector.

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

"Turkey represents 82.1 percent of the total fleet in the Black Sea," added the report.

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