Nearly 28,000 pufferfish caught in 23 days, far below target
Some 28,000 pufferfish were caught in 23 days within the scope of a project initiated by Turkey’s Agriculture and Forestry Ministry, according to a report by daily Hürriyet.
The project against the poisonous pufferfish, which was first spotted in the Turkish waters in the 2000s and invaded the Mediterranean coast, foresees a payment of 5 Turkish Liras (70 cents) to fishermen in exchange for a tail of the pufferfish they caught.
The practice that started on Dec. 2 in Turkish waters will end today, but payments to fishermen who deliver the tails to the relevant authorities will be made in May.
Expressing that the amount of tails delivered is far below the target, Mehmet Cengiz Deval, dean of the Akdeniz University’s Faculty of Fisheries, said that the deadline should be removed for the project to be successful.
“The ministry aimed to catch 1 million pufferfish. The time limit must be lifted to reach the target. If 1 million pufferfish are caught, a great success against this species would be achieved,” Deval noted.
Pufferfish has invaded the Mediterranean waters by entering through the Suez Canal. A nightmare for fishermen as they can easily cut through the fishing nets, pufferfish can attack people and pose a great threat to the native species.