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“OUR HOME IS FISHING PORT, OUR FIELD IS THE SEA”

Press release…

FAO and the Directorate of Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry came together to support fisheries tourism in Türkiye…

22 September, 2023 – Urla…

The “Sustainable Fishing Tourism Technical Cooperation Project” is currently being implemented in Urla district of Izmir province, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Directorate of Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The project aims to diversify the local economy and generate income for small-scale fishermen and fish farmers through fisheries tourism. By promoting the adoption of fisheries tourism, the project also aims to contribute to the economic development of local communities, preserve cultural heritage, and conserve coastal biodiversity.

A workshop was recently held in Urla, Izmir, which brought together stakeholders and representatives of fisheries cooperatives. The workshop served as a platform to share the experience and results of the pilot study conducted as part of the project. It also provided an opportunity for participants to discuss and explore methods to create sustainable livelihoods, conserve marine resources, and meet the growing demand for fish.

Viorel Gutu

The workshop began with an opening speech by Viorel Gutu, the FAO Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia and Representative to Türkiye. Viorel Gutu highlighted that Türkiye’s focus on becoming a fishing tourism country is a promising step forward. He emphasized that fishing tourism offers an attractive business opportunity, as there are many people willing to allocate a budget for this type of experience. The FAO aims to attract these individuals and investigate methods that can generate income for fishermen. However, he also noted that aligning tourism and fisheries requires deliberate efforts and cannot be achieved spontaneously.

Ramazan Özkaya, President of the Central Union of Fisheries Cooperatives, spoke about the importance of a project that aims to develop fishing tourism. He highlighted the significance of sustainable fishing in the sector, emphasizing that the fishing community considers the fishing harbour their home and the sea their field. Turgay Türkyılmaz, Deputy Director General of the General Directorate of Fisheries and Aquaculture, stated that promoting fishing tourism in Turkey would contribute to both the profitability of fishermen and the reduction of fishing pressure on stocks. He noted that this approach aligns with the global perspective and the efforts of the FAO. Haydar Fersoy, a senior expert from FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture, emphasised that fishing tourism is unique to the Mediterranean. This project has the potential to greatly benefit the fisheries tourism in Turkey.

Overall, the “Sustainable Fishing Tourism Technical Cooperation Project” aims to leverage the potential of fisheries tourism in Türkiye to promote economic growth, cultural preservation, and environmental conservation. By diversifying the local economy and generating income for small-scale fishermen and fish farmers, the project hopes to create sustainable livelihoods, protect marine resources, and meet the increasing demand for fish. The workshop held in Urla served as a platform to share knowledge, exchange ideas, and explore strategies to achieve these goals…

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