As the Turkish aquaculture industry keeps growing, the support of USSEC over many years has shown positive results. Turkey’s Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli recently announced that, in 2018, aquaculture production surpassed that of fisheries for the first time. Last year, the production of fishery products reached 314,000 tons, while aquaculture production was realized at 314,537 tons. 2019 aquaculture production is projected to reach 350,000 tons, which is equal to the usage of approximately 100,000 tons of soybeans and soybean product usage in the country’s aquaculture industry.
Minister Pakdemirli also stated that in 2018, approximately 628,000 tons of seafood products were produced: 35.3 percent of the total production came from fisheries, 9.9 percent from other seafood hunting, 4.8 percent from domestic fisheries and 50 percent represented aquaculture products.
The 2018 results also pointed out the seafood products with the highest increase in production. The maximum increase in Turkish aquaculture was a 25.5 percent jump in sea bream with 76,680 tons of production. Sea bass took second place with a 16.9 percent increase and 116,915 tons of production. Trout ranked third with an increase of 4.4 percent and a production of 114,497 tons.
Trout production increased only 4.4 percent is because of the reduction on the freshwater sources. Because of the limited water sources, the producers are seeking alternative production systems to apply for the current aquaculture facilities.
USSEC’s In Pond Raceway System (IPRS) will fit the needs of the Turkish aquaculture industry’s growth, as it uses limited water. USSEC has already investigated if the IPRS system can be applicable in Turkey for the current aquaculture production and reported that it is a good fit, especially for trout and the earthen ponds of sea bass and sea bream farms, supporting the increase of the farms’ capacity. As a result of this project, USSEC has arranged a technical trip to China, where IPRS systems have been implemented very successfully. Three Turkish participants will be part of this trip, representing the government, the trout industry, and the marine industry, who will travel to China with the guidance of USSEC Country Representative – Turkey Sirri Kayhan. The mission’s objective is to start one or two IPRS projects in Turkey with the support of government and help the growth of the Turkish aquaculture industry as well as increase consumption of U.S. Soy.
Turkey’s total aquaculture exports last year reached approximately one billion dollars. This year’s aquaculture production target is 350,000 tons.