Let’s expand our MPA's network before our future gets trapped

8.03.2013
The studies in the context of the UNDP SGP and “the Strengthening the System of the Marine and Coastal Protected Areas of Turkey Project”, revealed the precautions to be taken to combat ghost fishing that threaten species diversity in the seas and inland waters

Fishing gear lost or broken during harvesting of fisheries in the high seas and inland waters continue  fishing with a increasing threat posed by the so-called ghost fishing.

According to the report; across the world, 1.000.000 water birds and more than 100.000 marine mammals perish every year due to these nets. Nets, mostly synthetic can continue ghost fishing for 8, or even 10 years. In the meantime, decaying nets and their lead components cause irreparable physical and chemical damages on marine life and vegetation. According to the study in the gulfs of Izmir, Gökova and İskenderun, annual economic loss in these three gulfs, representing only a small portion of our territorial waters, reached about TRY 1 million. 
Below is a list of urgent actions to minimize negative biological, ecological and economic impacts of ghost fishing in the light of this information:

1. Putting immediately into practice principles of the “Ecosystem based Fishery Management” and the relevant mechanisms; thus establishing balance between fish stocks and fishery,
2. Developing “Ghost Fishing Database” and “Ghost Fishing Risk Map”,
3. Developing official and voluntary certificate systems in certain fields as fishery and selling sea products,
4. Making sure that fishing boats have “Guidelines for Retrieving Lost Gear” and relevant apparatus,  5. Providing enhanced communication and cooperation opportunities between stake holders through various networks such as social networking sites and internet sites,
6. extending the outcomes of the Strengthening Turkey’s Marine and Coastal Protected Areas System in the current Marine and Coastal Protected Areas  and Ghost Fishing and No More Ghost Fishing projects
7. Developing and extending new materials and practices to contribute to promoting responsible fishery and controlling ghost fishing,
8. Thus, it is essential to standardize signaling tools and prevent the use of poor quality materials in order to stop these losses.
9. Developing and promoting alternative fishing gear for boosting responsible fishing and controlling ghost fishing,
10. Strengthening the Fishery Cooperatives in connection with the UN Year of Cooperatives, helping them settle their debt-related problems and other issues, encouraging them to adopt the “Ecosystem based Fishery Management”, enhancing their authorities and knowledge, and re-identifying their roles,   
11. Integrating all these issues into the relevant legislation (such as draft Fisheries Law).

You can read the full report in pdf format below.
 



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