The purchase of balloon fish began in Antalya within the scope of the project “Supporting pufferfish fishing and bringing lionfish to consumption”, which is implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the General Directorate of Fisheries and Fisheries.
Mustafa Altuç Atalay, Director General of Fisheries and Aquaculture at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry attended.
Also, Ersin Yazici, Governor of Antalya, and Serkan Erkan, Director of the Mediterranean Research, Production and Training Institute, many fishermen attended the program held in Antalya Fishermen’s Shelter.
With the opening of the Suez Canal, Atalay said, pufferfish have become as invasive in the entire Mediterranean as they have done in the country.
Atalay noted that pufferfish were beginning to see the Mediterranean as their home, “There were several types of pufferfish in our seas.
But now that number has risen to 8, we started a campaign to combat this species. Last year, we subsidized 5 liras for each fish for our fishermen who brought the spotted pufferfish.
Atalay emphasized that this pilot study was highly appreciated by both the fishermen and the public, and said they had expanded the campaign.
“We have increased the amount of pufferfish this year”
Expressing that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry decided to allocate a budget for the balloon fish project, Atalay continued as follows:
“We have increased the budget and the number of pufferfish purchases this year.
We made the pufferfish we bought of one species last year to cover all pufferfish this year.
In this way, we will support fishermen in the Mediterranean who catch puffer fish by 5 million liras a year.
“We will buy and dispose of 5.5 million pufferfish annually, and given that these are the mother fish, we will kill or withdraw tens of millions of pufferfish from our seas next year.”
Noting that the lionfish is as dangerous as the pufferfish, Atalay said that touching the lion’s spines is harmful, but it can be eaten as food by cutting the spines.
Antalya Governor Ersin Yazici stated that they believe that fishermen will clean the pufferfish from the sea and make it safer for fish and other creatures.
After the speeches, 30,000 fries were released into the sea, and accessories and bags made of pufferfish were introduced.
In addition, clean lionfish was presented to the program participants.