Blue economy of Turkey – 4BIZ country report

On 17 March, an online presentation of 4BIZ partner countries’ reports took place. We invite you to read the latest information on the blue economy in Turkey, presented by the speakers of the Doğu Karadeniz Kalkınma Ajansı (DOKA).


Current situation in the field of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Coastal and Maritime Tourism and Maritime Transport.

Fisheries and Aquaculture: In the last 30 years, the aquaculture sector has grown by 10-15% and ranked 3rd in the world after China and India. The sector has been included in the support program since 2003. There are 2,127 aquaculture facilities in country and 69% of aquaculture production takes place in the sea. The highest production is made in Muğla province.

Coastal and Maritime Tourism: Türkiye has 8,333 km of coastline and coastal tourism constitutes 20% of tourism income. The proximity of natural, historical and cultural resources to the coasts, the existence of world-famous diving areas and natural coves, many blue flag beaches and the mild climate make the country attractive.

Maritime Transport: There are 197 shore facilities in Turkey and 45 percent of these facilities are located in the Marmara Region. According to the amount of handled cargo , the ports of the Marmara Region rank first, followed by the Mediterranean Region.  496 million metric tons of cargo was handled by Turkish Ports.

Important positive aspects during research.

The research process has acted as an important catalyst to update the data on the strengths and weaknesses, explore potential threats, opportunities, gaps and needs in the sectors and provide more specific suggestions for the sectors’ development. It was again understood that discussing the needs and problem areas with the stakeholders in the sector face to face is an important research method, and such interviews helped to establish a closer relationship with the stakeholders. For example, it has been noticed that the Turkish Salmon (Rainbow Trout), has a high economic potential due to the high demand by consumers and therefore it is an area that should be given extra attention. Additionally, it has also been revealed that there are significant success stories in the shipbuilding sectors, which have a high development potential for the region.

Success stories.

Türkiye has a major development in aquaculture production made from inland and marine waters between the years 2017-2021.The production showing a significant performance, increased from approx. 277,000 tons to approx. 472,000 tons as the increase rate has been 71%. In aquaculture sector mainly trout, sea bass and sea bream fish species are farmed in our country. For the last 5 years the fastest and the largest growing sector in Eastern Black Sea Region is aquaculture. The main farmed fish in our region is Turkish Salmon. According to the data of Eastern Black Sea Exporters Association, Turkish Salmon export of Eastern Black Sea Region rised to approx.129 million USD from 15 million USD between the years 2018-2022.As you see, Turkish Salmon export increased more than 8 times within this period.The export value of Turkish Salmon in 2022 comprises almost %91 of the total fisheries export of Eastern Black Sea Region which implies Turkish Salmon is the most substantial  export item of the Region in fisheries sector.

Omega 61 Su Ürünleri Tic. Ltd. Şti.(Omega 61 Fisheries Trade LLC) is a company as the most successful and fastest-growing company in aquaculture sector in Trabzon which is the largest  fisheries  production and export city in Eastern Black Sea Region. OMEGA 61 company has been established in 2010 and started its operation with the aquaculture of Turkish Salmon and sea bass. The company’s salmon and sea bass aquaculture production was approx. 1,000 ton in 2018 and within 5 years the production has enhanced to approx. 5,000 ton (in 2022) by its capacity increasement investments. The company has started export in 2021 with the value of 156,000 USD and it boomed its export to approx. 5 milyon USD in 2022.The turnover of the company was approx. 5.6 million USD in 2018 and it rised to 21.5 million USD by the end of 2022.


Mimarine Gemi İnş. Mimarlık ve Mühendislik Hiz. Ltd. Şti. (Mimarine Shipyard Architecture and Engineering Services LLC) has been the best developed company in Trabzon and Black Sea Region between the years 2019-2022 in the shipbuilding industry in terms of production capacity, export and product diversification. The company has produced a wide variety of boats and ships since its establishment (October 2018). Constructed 35 ships since 2018. 11 of them were exported to Mauritania, Morocco, Georgia, Norway and 25 of them were built for domestic market.

In 2021 and 2022 it started to build passenger ships, tug boats and motoryachts. In 2018, the company only produced one fishing vessel and employed 11 people. The total turnover was just 189,000 USD in 2018. Within 2021-2022 years the employment rised to 170 people. The total production increased to 35 ships; 31 of them fishing vessels, 2 of them tug boats and 2 of them were passenger boats. Out of 35 ships, 11 of them were exported.

The total export of the company enhanced to 14 million USD and the turnover increased to 16,5 million USD in 2021-2022. One of the company partners were awarded as the best woman exporter in the sector of ship contruction in Eastern Black Sea Region by Eastern Black Sea Exporters Union in 2022. The company is currently the largest exporter of fishing vessels in the entire Black Sea Region of Türkiye.

Lessons learned during the implementation of the research in Turkey.

One of the subjects learned during the implementation of the research is that many enterprises in the sector are very willing to share information, aware of the concept and principles of the Blue Economy and want to grow in this area. However, few businesses have long-term goals and strategies. It has been revealed that businesses have difficulties in transportation infrastructure, marketing and cooperation with other companies. In this respect, the survey is a good data collection tool in terms of revealing the trends, business profile and needs of enterprises on blue growth context.

Vital needs to effectively ensure the next steps of this project.

Businesses in the region are Small and medium sized enterprises operating in the blue economy sector in the basin need to be supported to enable them to achieve green and digital transformation. In this direction, training and consultancy services should be provided on resource efficiency, green transformation, digitalization, R&D and innovation. Their access to finance should be facilitated.

*This Project has received funding from the European Union’s European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) under Grant Agreement 101077576.

**Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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