There is an alarming decrease in the stock of bluefish in the inland seas due to overfishing and pollution, said Saadet Karakulak, an academic from Istanbul University’s Faculty of Aquatic Sciences.
Nearly 25 tons of bluefish were caught in 2002, while this figure was 1.2 tons last year, he added.
The Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry in 2011 increased the minimum catch size from 14 to 18 centimeters for bluefish, but according to Karakulak, the catch size of 18 centimeters is still very small, since “most bluefish start reproducing at 24 to 25 centimeters and therefore the limit should at least be 25 centimeters.”
“Despite the warnings, the fishing size limit for bluefish was kept at 18 centimeters. Bluefish of this size do not lay eggs. They cannot reproduce before they reach 25 centimeters in size,” Karakulak noted.
In 2014, the authorities banned fishing in the summer months when fish reproduce, saying that they are tightening supervision in an effort to replenish stocks.