Analysis of the first buy-back program for fishing vessels in Turkey

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SU URUNLERI DERGISI, vol.35, no.4, pp.433-445, 2018 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.12714/egejfas.2018.35.4.09
  • Title of Journal : SU URUNLERI DERGISI
  • Page Numbers: pp.433-445
  • Keywords: Fisheries buy- backs, fishing vessels decommissioning, reducing fishing capacity, reducing fleet capacity, Turkish fishing fleet


Buy-back programs have been implemented in the world for almost fifty years. However, first generation buy-back program was started in 2012 in Turkey through the "agricultural support"which was published in the Official Gazette dated 7 May 2012 and numbered 28285; afterwards four more buy-back programs were put into practice until 2018. The aim of this study is to reveal the results of the related program. Therefore, a telephone survey was applied to 76 fishermen determined among 364 fishing vessels, which had been bought in the program, through the simple random sampling method. 323 (88.7%) of the vessels benefiting from the program consisted of small-scale fishing vessels within the size group of 12-20 m, and 41 (11.3%) of them consisted of large-scale fishing vessels in the size group of 21 m and above. About 62.1 million TL (1 US $ = 1.9 TL) in total was spend in the support and 20% of 1868 fishing vessels with a height above 12 meters were removed from the fleet. 11 of these vessels were granted to provincial directorates Ministry of Food, Agriculture and livestock (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry since 09.07.2018) as control vessels, and 18 of them were granted to universities as research vessels. The remaining 335 vessels were subjected to the process of decomposition in Izmir Aliaga Ship Dismantling Facilities of Machine Chemistry Industry Institution. The average age of the fishers participating in the study is 50 +/- 12 and their average experience is 33 +/- 12 years. The main profession of 91% of the fishers is fishing, 91% of them found the program beneficial and 95% of them think that the program should continue. 37% of the fishers participating in the program use trawl nets, 24% purse wines, 22% gill nets, and 17% more than one fishing tools. 40% of the fishermen stated that they want to quit fishing as it became unprofitable. This is followed by considering retirement (15%), and considering the program as an appealing opportunity (12%). 61% of the individuals who gave their vessels stated that they will continue working in the fishing industry, and 17% of them stated that they will buy a new fishing vessel. 45% of them are fishermen who already have a second vessel and gave the inactive or unprofitable vessels to the buy-back program. Asa result, this study on the evaluation of the fishing vessel buy-back program is important in that it does not only provide information on decreasing the fishing capacity and fighting with overfishing, but also contributes to the better understanding of the sector, development of appropriate policies and the better management of the fisheries.