Ismail Önden, an expert at TÜBİTAK’s Industry and Shipping Management Institute, highlighted critical issues plaguing approximately 10% of fishing ports in urgent need of repair across Türkiye. Citing prevalent concerns such as inadequate rentals, administrative operational hurdles, security lapses and unauthorized construction, Önden shed light on the challenges faced within the fishing port infrastructure.
In a comprehensive study involving the examination of 400 fishing areas across the country and interviews with fishermen, Önden detailed the extensive groundwork conducted. “We surveyed potential fishing shelter locations, identifying around 400 key points for detailed interviews. While there are officially 384 fishing shelters, the total coastal structures surpass 500, including unregistered and natural shelter spots. Our focus narrowed to the 400 most vital locations,” Önden explained.
He emphasized the mapping of the ecosystem within the project’s framework and the analysis encompassing legislative aspects, zoning status assessments and comprehensive inventory creation. “We have completed essential groundwork by analyzing the current situation, including legislation, zoning status and presenting detailed maps. This also entailed categorizing problems and needs, unveiling the entire inventory and determining the zoning status of structures,” Önden added.
Identifying recurring challenges, including rental constraints, administrative issues, security concerns and unauthorized constructions, Önden emphasized the necessity for a comprehensive legislative resolution. Furthermore, infrastructural and superstructural issues like shoaling, sanding problems, insufficient capacity, dysfunctional breakwaters, wave disruptions and related concerns were highlighted.
Addressing these challenges, Önden stressed their cyclic nature and the impact on fishing activities, capacity shortages, incidents, theft and product quality. “Despite appearing as infrastructural problems, these ultimately intertwine and lead back to systemic dimensions, as some shelters significantly contribute to income generation,” Önden emphasized.
Expressing that half of the study is completed, Önden outlined the significance of these findings in formulating future policies and devising a strategic roadmap to address the identified issues comprehensively.