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Tuna Fish in Antalya Fitted with Satellite Devices

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A groundbreaking study has been initiated in the Gulf of Antalya as part of the “Atlantic-Wide Bluefin Tuna Research Program” led by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT). The project involves experts from the Mediterranean Fisheries Research, Production and Training Institute, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the General Directorate of Agricultural Research and Policies, the General Directorate of Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Stanford University in the United States.

The team set sail from Alanya on Turkish-flagged ships and placed satellite-connected electronic devices on 32 bluefin tuna they caught. These devices will remain with the fish for a year, providing valuable data on their behavior, migration routes, spawning grounds, feeding areas, and more.

Serkan Erkan, Director of the Mediterranean Fisheries Research, Production and Training Institute, explained that Turkey has been given a quota of 2,500 tons for tuna fishing this year by ICCAT. By conducting scientific studies and implementing satellite monitoring projects, the aim is to increase this quota by obtaining detailed information about the tuna population.

The devices attached to the tuna will collect data for a year before disconnecting and rising to the surface to transfer the information gathered. This data will help researchers gain insights into previously unknown aspects of bluefin tuna behavior and ecology.

Erkan also emphasized the importance of not disturbing the tuna with the attached devices, as this could impact the success of the study. The data collected from this study may lead to an increase in Turkey’s tuna quota and potentially change the understanding of bluefin tuna migration patterns.

While a similar study with devices attached to fish two years ago did not yield successful results, the use of better-equipped devices this year offers hope for valuable insights into the bluefin tuna population in the Mediterranean. Erkan called on fishermen to release any fish with devices attached to them during their hunts to ensure the success of this important research initiative.


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