A total of 440,977 TL was paid to the Cooperative Central Bank to 69 fishermen who delivered the non-native and toxic pufferfish in 2020. Catching pufferfish has been included in sporting competitions, organised by the Livestock Department in response to the damage caused by the pufferfish to fishing equipment.
For the year 2020, social security premium support payments were made in order to encourage fishing, increase entrepreneurship and include it in the social security system.
Accordingly, a total payment of 120,412 TL was paid to the Cooperative Central Bank to 19 professional fishermen who own small fishing vessels registered with the Livestock Department.
Online scientific publication Bluebridge reports that hundreds of new alien species have been encountered in the coastal environments of the Mediterranean Sea in recent decades, including the poisonous pufferfish – Lagocephalus sceleratus.
This invasive fish is native to the Pacific and Indian Ocean and to the Red Sea, from where it likely migrated via the Suez Canal which was deepened three years ago to make way for large container ships, and rapidly invaded the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. One of the problems with this fish is that it contains tetrodotoxin, a neurotoxin that can prove deadly to humans and for which there is no known antidote. Besides being poisonous, the pufferfish is also strong and has strong teeth that allow it to cut fishing nets. Today this pufferfish represents 4% of the weight of total artisan catches in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and is becoming a threat.
Generally, it’s more and more evident that the invasion of this pufferfish is wreaking huge damage to the Mediterranean marine ecosystems, to fisheries and to people’s safety.
Kibris Postasi, www.bluebridge-vres.eu