Facts About Fish Farms

Facts About Fish Farms

Demand for fish markets is increasing; this business sector should be called as sea fish breeding under the branch of aquaculture. There are different breeding types such as sea algae, sea cucumber, and shellfish breeding. In fact, processed food products such as jelly, agar, gelatin, sushi, etc., cosmetic products including products from textile industry are obtained directly or processed usage of sea and fresh water breeding. These kinds of products are used in wider areas as they are believed to be outside of food industry.

Regarding the argument that indicates “Seas are ruined” there are some regulations in our country such as the legislation regarding “indicating closed bays and gulfs which can be qualified as areas that fish farms cannot be established” which was published in official gazette dated 24.01.2007 and numbered 26412. After the legislation “Potential Areas” where fish farms can be established have been identified and Ministry of Agriculture decides the capacity increase of the present enterprises in those areas that have fish farming certificates. New certificates are generally given solely in Mersin region potential area. 

In order to evaluate the environmental effects of aquaculture products breeding activities, Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning defined how to make monitoring studies should be conducted with the legislation regarding “monitoring the fish breeding facilities established on the sea” dated 13.06.2009 and numbered 27252. Also parameters to be followed and frequency of the analysis has been identified with the legislation regarding “sampling and analysis methods” of Water Pollution regulation dated 10.10.2009 and numbered 27372. Additionally, analysis which are conducted on May and August (as indicated in the legislation dated 24.01.2007 and numbered 26413) and TRIX index monitoring are done and the conditions of the enterprises are determined. The Ministry is authorized to even decertify according to these results. All these analysis and monitoring are conducted by the universities and independent institutions which are approved by the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning. Results of the analysis are not notified to the enterprises but they are informed about the evolutions. I believe that the impacts on environment are not evaluated as detailed and systematically as this breeding industry. Also, facilities cannot be established in natural protected areas, archeologically protected areas and also it’s forbidden to establish facilities on national and international transit ways determined by the Undersecretariat of Maritime Affairs, at the areas where communication cables are laid, at military security areas, etc.

“Regarding using old methods in the farms”: It’s not possible to make breeding by using old methods in an enterprise located 0,6 sea miles away from the shore and the island. It’s mandatory to use equipped, big, and computer controlled, automatic feeding tanks monitored with underwater and above water camera systems. Otherwise, they will threaten the life of human. 

“Regarding the argument on ending of local fishing”: It’s a fact that the local fish population feeding with the feeds used by the facilities is increasing. It’s also common to sea dolphins around fish farms feeding with these fishes. So, increasing population of the local fish makes dolphins to feed and hunt in the area. Also, the reason for amateurs to hunt around fish farms is the same.

. And also, it has been mentioned that the fish farms are moved 1 mile open sea but this is wrong. According to the legislation, it should be more than 0.6 sea miles, at least 30 m depth, and have to have flow speed more than 0.1 m/sec.

“Regarding the argument indicating that fishmeal with GDO are using”: alternative protein sources are searched due to the fish flour shortage. The most important alternative is the soy protein in other words soy flour. It’s known that the genetics of soy has been altered. But the limits of fish meals with GDO have been determined by the Ministry of Agriculture (with the related regulation dated 11.06.2010 and numbered 5996, Regulation on Veterinary Services, Food and Feed; legislation on Food and Official Controls published in the official gazette dated 17.12.2011 and numbered 28145) and this is regularly controlled. Besides, world’s biggest soy producers make production and marketing as a member of ASA (American Soybean Association) in USA. Soy products are used as protein source in fish meals in all over the world. Especially, soy products with 3 genotype approved by the EU are common. It’s been considered in “GDO is not used in the fish meal” statute as the rate is 0.9%. You can provide detailed information from Ms. Özlem Güzel regarding this subject.

“Regarding fish meals with antibiotics”: Regulation on Veterinary Services, Food, and Feed dated 11.06.2010 and numbered 5996 also covers the applications about aquaculture products. Any treatment product or method can be used in the enterprises without the approval of the veterinary. It’s also prescribed and elimination time of the drug from the system of the fish is controlled. All elimination times are recorder by calculating them for every known fish and the fish is not introduced to the market before this time is finished. As fish is the sole animal protein source that we export to EU, “National Residue Monitoring Program” is followed and analysis are made everywhere determined by the Ministry. It’s also mandatory to follow HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) plans in all facilities. The Ministry of Agriculture controls the existence and applicability of these plans regularly and suddenly (corresponding with the legislation regarding Health Conditions of Sea Animals and Protection and Struggle with Diseases published in the official gazette dated 31.01.2013 and numbered 28190;  Council Directive 2006/88/EC of 24 October 2006 on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products thereof, and on the prevention and control of certain diseases in aquatic animals and Commission Decision of 12 December 2008 implementing Council Directive 2006/88/EC as regards requirements for quarantine of aquaculture animals). The most important development is wide spreading of the preventive medicine. VACCINE usage is the first step against some important pathogens such as Vibrio, Pasteurella, Streptococcus, Yersinia.

Also, hunting of seed fish has been forbidden since many years. This also reveals the intentional purpose of the writer.

On the other hand, welfare of the local people of the regions where fish farms are established increasing and the local people are employed. For example, 3 local people worked and even get retired from our enterprise. 15 people continue to work in our enterprise.

In spite of the fact that we work harder, the speculations about this subject never ends but it’s our duty to correct them as long as they write.

Best Regards,

Şeyma Tarkan
Sustainability Akuakültür Balık Çiftlikleri Fish Sea Bass Sea Bream Kültür Balığı Fish Farming Sea Environment Tracebility

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