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Improving Turkey's Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector

11 March 2014

TURKEY - In early February, the EU Twinning Project ‘Institutional Capacity Building for Fishery Producer Organisations’ officially started. The twinning project aims to contribute to the improvement of the performance of the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Turkey.

Its goal is to foster a dynamic fishing industry that ensures a fair standard of living for fishing communities, but recognises the impact of human activity on all components of the ecosystem. As such the project team will work in line with the EU Common Market Organisation (CMO) for Fishery and Aquaculture Products and the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

The CFP aims to ensure that fishing and aquaculture are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable, and that they provide a source of healthy food for EU citizens. The CMO was set up to stabilise the markets and guarantee a fair income for producers. Over the years, it has steadily evolved from a system involving market intervention to a system that focuses more on sustainability. Rules and procedures have become simpler, and governance has improved since producer organisations have taken on more responsibility for managing their own activities.

Sectoral awareness

In Turkey (as in many EU Member States) there is a need for improved sectoral awareness and performance. Some current factors hindering the progress towards a healthy and sustainable fisheries and aquaculture sector are for example: Insufficient stock-assessment research, an effective value chain approach, insight in marketing options of fishery and aquaculture products, insight in consumer preferences, balancing variations in demand and supply.

Since organisations in the fishery and aquaculture sector have taken on more responsibility for managing their own activities in accordance with the EU Acquis, EU Member States markets have become more transparent and started to function more smoothly, supplying high-quality products.

Although Turkey’s full harmonisation with the CFP and CMO for Fishery and Aquaculture products is foreseen on the long run, the project team will in this project search for options for and search for options with fishermen and fish farmers to collaborate in producer organisations, and as such support reorganising the Turkish market in line with the EU Acquis.

Adaptive strategies and lessons learned

In this respect, the project team will develop practical adaptive strategies and integrate lessons learned from different EU Member States as much a possible. Lessons learned will come from all Member States, but with a focus on those from the Netherlands, France and Sweden, as the consortium partners of the project include governmental organisations and other mandated bodies from these countries.

Consortium partners

For the Netherlands the Centre for Development Innovation (CDI), LEI and IMARES (all part of Wageningen UR) are working closely together in the consortium by providing experts who will collaborate with experts from Turkey. The Resident Twinning Adviser in Turkey is Ms. Esther Koopmanschap (CDI), the project leader is Dr. Luc van Hoof of IMARES, and LEI is taking care of the project management through Mr. Rik Beukers.

The French consortium partner is the General Council for Agriculture, Food and Rural Areas (Mr. Philippe Ferlin). Mr. Andreas Davelid will represent the Swedish consortium partner, the Swedish Board of Agriculture. The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock in Ankara, Turkey, is the final recipient of the project, represented by Dr. Gürsel Küsek, Director General of Agricultural Reform.


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