Experts await more bonito, less anchovy in new season

Experts are foreseeing plenty of bonito in the new fishing season that has kicked off in Türkiye after a five-month hiatus, with the number of anchovies declining as the number of fisheries has decreased around 30 percent in the last decade.

Fishermen in the Black Sea ports, where nearly 75 percent of the fisheries in the country are located, set out to sea, with
experts and sector representatives hopeful of a bountiful fishing season.

"We will probably experience a real abundance of bonito after many years," said Erdoğan Kartal, the head of the aquaculture cooperatives association in Istanbul, adding that there have been bonito in the Black Sea region since the beginning of August.

Bonito prices have dropped to 70-80 Turkish Liras ($3.80-4.30) per kilo, Kartal said. "When the weather gets a little cooler, it may drop to 25-30 liras [$1.60], or even lower."

Meanwhile, anchovies that used to migrate to Turkish waters in autumn, has started to move to Georgia in recent years, according to the sector representatives.

Stating that they wrote dozens of petitions to the fishermen in Marmara not to catch anchovy as they are small, Kartal said, "It seems that the Black Sea will not produce much anchovy before November."

"If the weather continues like this and doesn't get cold, we may be longing for anchovies and horse mackerel for a while."

"Only the variety has increased a bit in the new season but it's hard to talk about full abundance," said Kartal, adding that it's mainly because of the temperature.

Pointing to the climate change as the reason behind the increase in water temperature, Saadet Karakulak, a professor from Istanbul University, said, "The fishing season opens on Sept. 1 but there has not been much...

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