By Hayati Akcay and Gultekin Yetgin
ORDU/GIRESUN, Turkey (AA) – With the end of the annual seasonal fishing ban, fishermen in the Black Sea region of Turkey are bracing up for good catches.
The fishermen will set off to sea after a four-and-a- half month ban on the night of Aug 31.
Fishermen will sail by saying “Vira Bismillah", meaning “raising the anchor in the name of God”, to deep sea in search of fish to earn their living.
Unal Karadeniz, head of Fishermen Association said they have been fixing their nets for past two months in the hope to get a bumper catch of anchovy and baby bonito fish varieties.
Anchovies are small, green fish with blue reflections. On an average, the Turkish commercial fishing fleet catches around 300,000 tons per year, mostly in November and December.
Bonitos is medium-sized, ray-finned fish like mackerel and tuna. Both these varieties are part of poplar Turkish cuisine.
"Hopefully on the night of Aug. 31 we will set off to sea, saying Vira Bismillah," Karadeniz said.
"We guess the season will be fruitful especially on anchovy and the fisherman will reap a good harvest,” Karadeniz said.
He said fishermen also have high hopes to catch scad variety.
Hamdi Arslan, the head of Giresun Aquaculture Cooperative said the amount of bonito in the sea looks less this year compared to last two years.
Ismail Ozturk, a fisherman in Giresun said although they was little hope of a big catch in the opening season, but all fishermen are preparing to sail with full preparations and expectations.
By 2020, Turkey is expecting an aquaculture target of 600,000 tons. It was pegged an export target worth $2 billion by 2020.
*Writing by Dilara Hamit from Ankara