The Turkish government has encouraged fish sales with incentives in a bid to increase consumption during the yearly four-and-a-half-month fishing ban that will be lifted by the end of this month, the agriculture minister has said.
The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry introduced a decision in April to release processed and frozen fishery products to the domestic market at around production costs, Bekir Pakdemirli said in a written response to a parliamentary question addressed by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Ömer Fethi Gürer.
Turkey’s fishing season ended on April 15, with a countrywide ban effective until Sept. 1. However, many fishing boats were laid off the stocks a couple of weeks earlier due to the coronavirus pandemic, which hit the country in mid-March, and also because of the less amount of fish in the Black, Aegean, Mediterranean and Marmara seas.
“Under the coordination of our ministry, campaigns to sell seabream and seabass on April 3-7, Turkish salmon on April 15-17, and trout on April 21-22 were carried out. Fish presented to the taste of our people with these campaigns were met with high interest,” said Pakdemirli.
In 2019, fishery products’ average consumption per capita in Turkey rose 2 percent to 6.26 kilograms, he noted.
Average consumption per capita is around 20 kilograms on a global scale, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Producers, consumers and retailers all welcomed the ministry’s initiative, the minister said, adding that, the ministry aims at increasing fishery product consumption per capita and creating alternative marketing channels for producers and sellers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Umut Erdem,