UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Actual and perceived decline of fishery resources in Turkey and Cyprus : a history with emphasis on shifting baselines Ulman, Aylin


The FAO global statistics on fisheries catches is an important tool used to track overall patterns, as it represents the only global account of fisheries catch records from all member countries. However, the database is only as complete as the data sent to them by member countries, which often lack catch amounts from non-commercialized sectors. The aim here for Chapters 2 and 3 were to comprehensively account for total fisheries removals for Turkey and Cyprus from 1950-2010, by estimating catches for previously unaccounted sectors, using best available data. It was found that the total reconstructed catch for Turkey was about 80% higher (33 million t) than the 18.4 million t reported to FAO during the period from 1950 to 2010. The total reconstructed catch for Cyprus was about 2.6 times higher (243,000 t) than the 93,200 t reported to FAO for Cyprus for the same period, which thus excluded catches from the north of the country from 1974 to 2010. For Chapter 4, using total reconstructed catches and annual fleet dynamics statistics, total effort and Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) were calculated for Turkey as a whole, and each of its seas. Next, from field survey results from Turkey and Cyprus, each fisher’s ratio of initial to current CPUE and perceived change in resource abundance was computed for their career span, according to sector. Lastly, the two trends in ratio of initial to current CPUE and perceived change in resource abundance were compared to determine if ‘shifting baselines’ had occurred. For Turkey as a whole total effort increased by over 700% from 25 million kW days in 1967 to nearly 190 million kW days in 2010, while CPUE declined by about 380% from nearly 16 kg•kW¹•day-¹ in 1967 to 4 kg•kW-¹•day-¹ in 2010. Shifted baselines were evident in all but two surveyed sectors (i.e., the bottom trawlers of Turkey, and artisanal fishers of South Cyprus). The artisanal and recreational sectors of Turkey experienced the most severe changes, with declines in CPUE of about 40 times since about 1950.

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Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 Canada