ISTANBUL: Turkey’s fish exports have increased six fold over the last decade and we fulfill the one forth of Europe sea breams and bass demand, said Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker here the other day.
“Turkey’s annual fish farm production has increased to 233,000 tons this year, from around 61,000 tons a decade ago. A majority of them, especially trout, sea breams and bass, are sold to the European market. One of every three to four sea breams and bass consumed in European restaurants are supplied by Turkey,” he said.
The country’s fish exports have increased almost six-fold, up to $568 million for the last decade, he added.
Meanwhile, the European Commission’s planned 9 percent anti-dumping decision on trout imports from Turkey has alarmed Turkish fishermen, who are worried about losing their biggest market.
Turkey is preparing to offer a number of alternative solutions when the planned decision takes effect, Turkish officials had said earlier.
The EU started an investigation into Turkish rainbow trout production subsidies on Feb. 15, following complaints by European producers, led by Denmark, of unfair competition.
“Turkey’s subsidies in the sector are not that high when compared to our European counterparts. We have our own arguments and we are in the middle of a negotiation process with the commission,” Eker said on Oct. 24.
Turkey processes 75,000 tons of trout annually. Turkish exporters are the export leader in the European market with around 30,000 tons of annual trout exports. Turkey also has more than doubled its exports volume of bass and bream to some 40,000 tons in the past three years, according to data from the ministry.