Pearl Mullet Migration Begins in Lake Van, Turkey
The migration of pearl mullet from Lake Van to fresh waters has begun in Turkey. The fish started to gather in river mouths in early April and have started to migrate after completing their physiological adaptation process. Dr. Mustafa Akkuş, a faculty member at Van Yüzüncü Yıl University’s Faculty of Fisheries, said that pearl mullet creates beautiful images in all 111 streams around the lake, with thousands of fish trying to jump up rocks 20 times their own height, offering a visual feast. Pearl mullet is the main dynamic of ecotourism in the region, and both fishermen and people can make much more money if it is protected.
However, Dr. Akkuş also highlighted a major problem during this migration season: poaching. He pointed out that there is a drought this year, and the flow rates of rivers are low, which makes it difficult for pearl mullets to migrate upwards. Poachers are also making this process harder for the fish. “We hope that pearl mullet will overcome this difficulty and a healthy reproduction will occur. We will have passed the season,” Dr. Akkuş said.
The pearl mullet migration is an annual event that attracts many people to the region. With proper protection and management, this natural phenomenon can continue to contribute to the local economy and ecotourism industry.