Turkey has big potential in the fisheries sector, having coasts to four different seas with diverse physical, chemical and biological properties supporting a large diversity of economical fish species. Along with the development in the Turkish economy, fishing industry has also developed in the vessel construction and fishing gear manufacturing. Being supported by subsidizes from the government, Turkish fishing fleet became an important power in the surrounding seas. During the pre-accession period to European union (EU), there are several questions raised requiring answers: (1) How to reduce fishing effort that is presumed to be higher than the acceptable levels considering exploited resource potential, and (2) How to adopt EU’s common fisheries policy (CFP) to manage fisheries in the country. However, lack of reliable and secure data on catch, stock biomass, fishing fleet and effort, catch per unit effort, and monitoring, control and surveillance services make it difficult to reach an acceptable agreement with stakeholders. In this article, Turkish fishing fleet was reviewed using such profitability indicators such as catch per unit effort (tonnage, engine power), age of the vessels etc, employed as in the EU in order to respond claims that Turkish fishing fleet is bigger than it is supposed to be. The data used in this study were collected from the databases of Under Secretariat of Maritime Affairs and Ministry of Agriculture along with Turkish statistical institute (TSI). According to results of the data provided from national sources and comparison with EU fishing fleet, total fishing effort of Turkey is not much more than some of the EU member countries.
Key words: Fishing fleet, Turkey, EU, fishing effort, profitability.
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