After receiving reports of pollution, deputies from the Parliament’s Environmental Commission investigated fish farms in Muğla’s Güllük and Güvercinlik bays in Turkey’s Aegean region. Following the investigation, it was decided that the farms should be moved to a new location and that the ones who did not abide would be punished, said Mehmet Şahin, head of the Muğla Environment and Forest Directorate.
As a result, 29 of 133 fish farms were ordered to be shut down, as their time to move expired yesterday. Those 29 fish farms will also be penalized for the pollution if they continue operation.
A spokesperson for the Muğla Environment and Forest Directorate said the process started a year ago and the fish farms' time has run out.
"Their time ended March 29. We informed them about it a year ago," the spokesperson said. "The legal process started and now it ended. Everything goes according to the instructions."
The spokesperson said they would be checking other fish farms in Marmaris starting today.
Meanwhile, Sami Kont, businessman and a spokesman of the Muğla Fishing and Fishery Products Association, said there was confusion about the laws, which harmed the fishing sector.
"Environment and Forestry Minister Veysel Eroğlu was misinformed when he was told that fish farms would be moved a year after the Evaluation of Environmental Influence reports were given," said Kont. "But that is wrong because fish farms' owners would go to Muğla and start the process to rent their new places after getting the reports. But because there are many fish farms, the process gets longer, and there are many owners on the waiting list.
"Furthermore, right now, it is impossible to move the fish farms immediately in those climate conditions," said Kont. "As a result, there is a problem, but it is neither the minister's fault nor the fishers’. It is all about the slow pace of bureaucracy."