Fisheries Law No. 1380 of 1971, as amended by Laws No. 3288 of 1986 and No. 4950 of 2003, is the framework law for fisheries and aquaculture related activities. The law provides the basis for the regulations and communiqués, issued under the authority of the competent minister (the minister of Food Agriculture and Livestock), which are used to regulate fisheries and aquaculture. Article 1 of the Law explains the scope of the Act – “protection, production and inspection of aquatic products” – and Article 2 gives the definitions, including the aquatic products, which are further completed by other regulations. Fisheries Law No. 1380 sets out rules for:
Fisheries Regulation No. 22223 of 1995 and Amendment No. 25052 of 2003 set out application details for Fisheries Law No. 1380 and provide provisions concerning aquaculture, including hygiene, inspection and control of fishery products.
According to Article 13 of Fisheries Law No. 1380, the procedures and principles related to aquaculture are determined by the Aquaculture Regulation No. 25507 which was issued in 2004 and amended in 2007. This regulation sets out rules for the following issues:
The Minister derives his legal authority to make regulations or other subsidiary legal instruments through the law establishing the ministry for which the minister is responsible. Thus, the Fisheries Law is not necessarily the basis for making regulations, but rather it is through the minister’s ex officio powers that fishery regulations are made. It is up to the minister to determine the instrument that he/she will use, in accordance with the delegated powers, and then to issue the appropriate instrument. The Ministry of Food Agriculture and Livestock – MoFAL is given institutional authority to manage the fishery sector under Decree Law No. 441 of 1991, on the Establishment and Functions of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
The main authority in the field of fisheries and aquaculture is MoFAL. There are three Directorate Generals (DG) responsible for Fisheries and Aquaculture: the DG for Fisheries and Aquaculture (DGFA), the DG for Food and Control (DGFC) (concerning aquaculture the DG deals with, fish movement, disease control and marketing studies ), the DG for Agricultural Research and Policies (DGARP), the DG for Agricultural Reform (DGAR) (both responsible for performing basic research, organization and support activities, cooperatives, associations, etc.).
The DG for Fisheries and Aquaculture consists in five divisions: the Department of Fishing and Control, the Department of Aquaculture, the Department of Administration and Coordination, the Department of Statistics and Information Systems and the Department of Resource Management and Fisheries Structure. Its main responsibilities are:
Under Article 13 of the Fisheries Law No. 1380, those who wish to culture aquatic species for commercial purposes are obliged to apply to MoFAL by informing the Ministry about the location, characteristics and management of the facilities, and submitting the enterprise’s project and plans. MoFAL issues permission if there are no adverse effects in terms of public health, national economy, navigation, or science and technology. The provisions of the last paragraph of Article 4 of Fisheries Law No. 1380 are also applicable for production units to be established in the sea and inland waters. Aquaculture cannot be carried out without a licence. The power to grant aquaculture licences, including licenses for sea ranching, is vested in the Ministry, who has delegated this power to the Department of Aquaculture. The details of the application, issuing and cancellation of licenses are described in Aquaculture Regulation No. 25507 and Application Principles with Regard to the Regulation on Aquaculture (Notice 2006/1). Entrepreneurs or applicants need to submit their applications either to central offices (the DG for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Ankara) or relevant Provincial Directorates of MoFAL. Applications for ongrowing trout, carp, sea bass and sea bream and hatcheries for these species up to 2 million fry/year capacity submit their applications to Provincial Directorates, whilst applicants for ongrowing other species (namely new Mediterranean species, turbot, sturgeon, eel, algae, mollusks and crustacean species) and trout, carp and sea bass/sea bream hatcheries with an annual capacity of more than 2 million fry have to apply directly to the Aquaculture Department in Ankara.
Entrepreneurs or applicants asking to be granted a license must provide the following information, along with supporting documentation for first applications:
An application form providing the following information:
Evaluation of Application:
A team of staff/experts from the central or provincial office visits the site and prepares a preliminary survey report.
Issuing Preliminary License:
If the preliminary survey report is positive, permission or preliminary license is issued for a period of twelve (12) months, as long as an application letter, site map (1/25 000 scale), the preliminary survey report and a water quality report are provided.
During this twelve (12)-month period, the entrepreneur gets approval from other related ministries and institutions depending on the nature of the project (e.g., Ministries of Environment and Urban Planning, Health, Culture and Tourism, Transport Maritime Affairs, Office of Navigation, Hydrography and oceanography, and local government). After approval by the above-mentioned authorities, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report is obtained and then the full project documentation, including a farm or hatchery design and a feasibility report, is compiled and submitted.
According to the article 8 of Aquaculture Regulation No. 25507, after obtaining the Preliminary Licence which completes the procedures of renting/leasing and once the aquaculture facility is operational, the entrepreneur, within one (1) month, must apply for a Fish Farming Certificate approving the project. The Certificate includes information such as, the name of the aquaculture facility, its contact information, name of the owner/owners, project capacity, information on products, ownership status, leasing period, number and capacity of production ponds and cages, capacity of hatcheries. Then the Certificate and the Survey Report are sent to the central offices of MoFAL to be approved.
Issuing the License:
If the project is approved, the license (Fish Farming Certificate) is issued. This usually takes one (1) to two (2) years at minimum. In case of changes in project capacity, species composition produced, etc., the entrepreneur must submit a new application and a new license must be issued.
MoFAL, or other relevant government authorities, for relevant reasons, can move the farm or cancel the project or license.
Transfer of licenses/changes in ownership:
According to Aquaculture Regulation No. 25507, licenses cannot be transferred, but a farm or hatchery can change ownership and retain the same license.
There is no legally-defined license fee.
Limitations on access to land and water
MoFAL declares leasing fee guidelines and rent aquaculture area both in seas and fresh waters.Permits for logistic or shore facilities (jetties, service areas, etc.) for mariculture are granted by the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning at provincial level per Coastal Law No. 3621, Law on the Protection of Cultural and Natural Assets No. 2863 and the Regulation on Implementation of Coastal Law. Most of the coastal areas, particularly in the Aegean Sea, have been declared natural/historic sites, and fish farms or shore bases cannot be found in or around these areas (Principle Decision High Council of Protection of Cultural and Natural Assets Concerning Fisheries production and Aquaculture Premises at Natural/Historic Sites – No. 725). This is one of the major limitations for accessing land and water for aquaculture production. The other constraints, as outlined by Aquaculture Regulation No. 25507, are:
According to Coastal Law No. 3621 and related Regulation on Implementation of Coastal Law No. 20594, authority of coastal (land) planning and management belongs to Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning. The Law imposes restrictions on land use within the 100-meter-wide coastal strip. Therefore coastal land-based ongrowing facilities, hatcheries, and packing and processing plants, offices, jetties, etc., need to get permission from the Ministry.
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is responsible for implementing the Law on Protection of Cultural and Natural Assets No. 2863. Based on this Law, the High Council of Protection of Cultural and Natural Assets issued Principle Decision No. 725, related to fisheries production and aquaculture premises. According to this Decision, establishment of fish farms is not permitted at natural/historic sites and in bordering bays with natural/historic sites, in the regions with under water cultural and natural assets and in areas diving banned with decision of Council of Ministers.
Compulsory site changes: According to Aquaculture Regulation No. 25507, the site of aquaculture farms might be changed due to new coastal planning, legal, technical, or safety reasons. In these cases, the public authority will propose a new site for transferring the farms, but will not contribute to transfer costs.
In order to reach a decision on whether “EIA is required” or “EIA is not required,” a project description file is prepared by the entrepreneur(s) and is submitted to the Ministry. The file includes the general features and location of the project, as well as an alternate project and project location. The Ministry evaluates the file within fifteen (15) days and makes a decision in the following five (5) days. The decision is sent to the Governor of the relevant province and the entrepreneur(s).
If an EIA is required, the entrepreneur applies to the Ministry with an application form and two EIA application files. The Ministry first inspects the file pursuant to the format provided in the EIA Regulation. The file is returned to the applicant if it is not in the required format. Otherwise, a commission is formed including representatives of the relevant institutes/institutions, authorities from the Ministry and the entrepreneur or his/her representatives. The project files are sent to the Governor of the relevant province for public hearing, and to members of the commission. Data/information included in EIA files for fish farm applications:
Article 21 of Aquaculture Regulation No. 25507 also provides measures concerning environmental impacts and protections. Accordingly, producers shall take required actions to protect environment. Any pollutant that will spoil water quality and harm the environment, fish, or human health cannot be used. In addition, measures shall be taken to prevent visual pollution. Effluent waters of land based fish farms and hatcheries should be consistent with the criteria defined in Fisheries Regulation No. 22223 and they should have waste water treatment systems.
The Notice on Application Principles with Regard to the Regulation on Aquaculture No. 2006/1 provides water quality criteria as a guideline for fish culture, ongrowing and hatchery production of salmonids, carp, and marine species.
In general, Regulation on Control of Water Pollution No. 25687, based on Environmental Law No. 2872, is the major legislation governing control of water pollution. This Regulation comprises quality classifications of water bodies and utilization of these classes, planning principles concerning protection of water quality, guidelines and permits, wastewater processing plants, and monitoring and control principles to prevent water pollution. Water bodies are classified as:
Classification of Class I waters:
Aquaculture effluent discharge standards are given under discharge standards of food industry wastewaters into recipient environment as chemical oxygen demand of 50 mg/l and 30 mg/l for 2 hour and 24 hour composite samplings.
It is compulsory to present a Health Certificate and Certificate of Origin prepared by official intuitions of the country of origin for imported aquatic animals. In the case of live fish intended for broodstock, these certificates should be approved by Turkish Consulate in that country of origin.
Tuna caught in international waters for fattening purpose and directly imported into the country need veterinary control on the border.
The Ministry of Food Agriculture and Livestock arranges Certificates of Origin and Health Certificates for live aquatic animals that are exported out of the country. Private and public companies producing and marketing broodstock need to obtain Broodstock Health Certificates from the Ministry.
Article 18 of Aquaculture Regulation No. 25507 provides the following provisions for eggs, fry and broodstock importation:
In addition the Circular No. 2007/32 underlines some of the aquatic animal diseases listed above, as diseases to be reported and registered if it is suspected to be present or approved that it is present.
The DG for Food and Control (DGFC) of MoFAL is the competent authority for disease control. The Bornova Veterinary Control and Research Institute is the designated national reference laboratory responsible for coordinating diagnostic standards and methods, fish health surveillance, and diagnostic services. There are also university laboratories in Trabzon, Rize, Sinop, Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, Elazig, Erzurum, Isparta, Mugla, Adana, as well as MoFAL Fisheries Institute laboratories in Trabzon, Elazıg, Egirdir, Antalya. All these laboratories deal with fish health issues. In addition, private diagnostic and therapeutic services and material providers are located in Istanbul, Izmir and Mugla.
According to Law No. 5996 on Veterinary Services, Plant Health, Food and Feed and the Fisheries Regulation No. 22223 in cases of contagious disease in an aquaculture facility, or upon suspicion of such a disease, the competent authority can order necessary measures in order to limit the spread of the disease, including taking the area or farm(s) under control, or engaging in killing and destruction. They can also order the reconstruction of facilities, transport units and equipment in these cases. Provincial Directorates publicize the measures taken via local and/or regional press and media.
Articles 4 of Law No. 5996 and 20 of Aquaculture Regulation No. 25507 provide measures that shall be taken to maintain the health of farmed fish:
Fisheries Regulation No. 22223 is the main legislation regulating food safety in fisheries and aquacultaure. Chapter IX (Articles 25-32) provides “Technical and Hygienic Conditions of Fishery Products Processing Establishment and Characteristics of the Fishery Products that will be Consumed and Processed,” including operating licences for the establishment, general hygiene conditions of the facilities, technical requirements related to the processing of fresh marine products, technical requirements related to frozen fishery products, technical requirements related to processed seafood products, characteristics of the seafood that are to be processed and consumed, the characteristics of food goods and industrial products, packaging, labelling and transportation.
Another important legislation is the Regulation on Wholesale and Retail Sale Places of Fishery Products. This Regulation addresses control and inspection procedures and principles in relation to minimum general, technical, hygienic, physical and infrastructure conditions to be conformed in the wholesale fish markets that are established by the municipalities and/or real and juristic persons. This Regulation also addresses working conditions in wholesale fish markets and the operation, management and sale of the fish and fishery products. Principles and rules are laid out for the following:
Regulation on Measures for Monitoring certain Substances and Residues for Livestock lays down residue and substance monitoring plans, auto-control and producers’ responsibilities, official controls, national reference laboratories and responsibilities, and maximum residue limits. Bornova (Izmir) Veterinary Control and Research Institute is the designated national reference laboratory. Residue monitoring was initiated in 1998 mainly for farmed fish, which will be exported and in recent years this practice has been extended to farmed fish destined for the domestic market.
The Regulation is fully compatible with Council Directive 96/23/EC of 29 April 1996 on “Measures to Monitor Certain Substances and Residues Thereof in Live Animals and Animal Products.”
Aquaculture investment does not receive direct financial support from the public funds. However, since the 2005 Decision on Supporting Animal Husbandry No. 2005/8503, and the Notification No. 2011/26 on supporting livestock government provides supports for agriculture, livestock and fisheries. Articles 13 and 14 of the Notification No. 2011/31 regulate the support policies in 2011 period for aquaculture and the rules and procedures of application for demand of support.
Fisheries Law (No: 1380) (Official Gazette dated 22.03.1971 and No 13799, amended by Law No. 4950 dated 22.07.2003)
Law on the membership to ICCAT (No: 4589) (Official Gazette Dated 28.05.2003 and No 25121)
Environmental Law (No: 2872) (Official Gazette Dated 11.08.1983 and No 18132, amended by Law No. 5491 dated 26.04.2006)
Law on Protection of Cultural and Natural Assets (No: 2863) (Official Gazette Dated 23.07.1983 and No 18113)
State Tendering Law of 2886 (Official Gazette Dated 10.09.1983 and No: 18161)
The Coastal Law (No: 3621) (Official Gazette Dated 17.04.1990 and No. 20495, amended by Law No. 3830 dated 01.07.1992
Law No. 5996 on veterinary services, plant health, food and feed (Official Gazette No. 27610 dated 13.06.2010)
Decree-Law No. 441 establishing functions of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (Official Journal No. 20955 dated 09.08.1991)
Aquaculture Regulation (Official Gazette dated 29.06.2004 and No. 25507, amended by Official Gazettes No. 25967 dated 15.10.2005, No. 26556 dated 18.06.2007, No. 27243 dated 30.05.2009.)
Fisheries Regulation (Official Gazette dated 10.03.1995 and No: 22223, amended by Official Gazettes No. 25052 dated 18.03.2003, No. 25374 dated 15.02.2004, No. 27455 dated 07.01.2010, No. 27517 dated 10.03.2010)
Regulation of Environmental Impact Assessment (Official Gazette dated 17.07.2008 and No. 26939, amended by Official Gazette No. 27437 dated 19.12.2009)
Regulation on Turkish Food Codex - Consolidated (Official Gazette Dated 16.11.1997 and No: 23172, last amendment Official Gazette No. 27572 dated 05.05.2010)
Regulation on measures to be taken to monitor certain substances and their residues in live animals and animal products (Official Gazette No. 28145 dated 12.12.2011)
Regulation on Wholesale and Retail Sale Places of Fishery Products – Consolidated (Official Gazete dated 19.06.2002 and No: 24790, Amended by Official Gazette dated 14.07.2004 and No. 25522, dated 27.04.2007 and 26505)
Regulation on Principles and Implementation of Organic Agricultural Production (Official Gazette Dated 10.06.2005 and No: 25841, amended by Official Gazette No. 26332 dated 17.10.2006 and No. 27379 dated 17.10.2009)
Regulation on Implementation of Coastal Law (Official Gazette Dated 03.08.1990 and No: 20594, amended by Official Gazettes No. 21374 dated 13.10.1992, No. 22709 dated 27.07.1996, No. 25418 dated 30.03.2004.)
Regulation on Control of Water Pollution (Official Gazette Dated 31.12.2004 and No: 25687, amended by Official Gazette No. 27537 dated 30.03.2010)
Regulation on concession of aquaculture production rights in seas and inland waters and concession of use of water needed in aquaculture investments (Official Gazette No. 27951 dated 01.06.2011)
Regulation on aquatic animal health and protection and fight against aquatic animal diseases (Official Gazette No. 28190 dated 31 January 2012)
Regulation on Veterinary Medical Products (Official Gazette No. 28152 dated 24.12.2011)
Regulation Concerning Food Safety and Checking and Control of Food Quality (Official Gazette No. 270009 dated 26.09.2008)
(Circular, Communiqué, Decision, Directive, Principles, Prospectus, Protocol)
Application Principles with Regard to the Regulation on Aquaculture (Notice 2006/1)
Circular on Determination of Sensitive Enclosed Bays and Gulfs Areas where Fish Farms Excluded (Circular: 4.01.2007 and No: 26413)
Principle Decision High Council of Protection of Cultural and Natural Assets ConcerningMariculture and Aquaculture Facilities at Natural/Historic Sites (Date: 19.12.2206, No: 725).
Circular (No: 2003/46) Leasing Fisheries/Aquaculture Production Sites (Official Gazette Dated 16.01.2004 and No: 25348)
Circular on National Estate (Official Gazette Dated: 20.08.2003 and No: 25205)
Circular (No: 2008-29) on Water Quality Standards for Shellfish Production Sites (Official Gazette Dated 02.06.2008 and No: 26894, amended by Official Gazette No. 27517 dated 10.03.2010)
Circular (No: 2007/32) on Listed Diseases To Be Registered According to Article 4 of Animal Health and Sanitation Law (No: 3285) (Official Gazette Dated 12.07.2007 and No 2650)
Notification No. 2011/26 on supporting livestock.(Official Gazette No. 27926 dated 06.05.2011
Circular 2011/7 on measures to be taken to monitor certain substances and their residues in live animals and animal products.
Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2377/1990 laying down a Community Procedure for the Establishment of Maximum Residue Limits of Veterinary Medicinal Products in Foodstuffs of Animal Origin.
Council Directive 91/492/EEC of 15 July 1991 Laying Down the Health Conditions for the Production and the Placing on the Market of Live Bivalve Molluscs.
Council Regulation (EC) No 2406/96 of 26 November 1996 Laying Down Common Marketing Standards for Certain Fishery Products.
Council Directive 96/23/EC of 29 April 1996 on Measures to Monitor Certain Substances and Residues Thereof in Live Animals and Animal Products and Repealing Directives 85/358/EEC and 86/469/EEC and Decisions 89/187/EEC and 91/664/EEC.
Council Regulation (EC) No 104/2000 of 17 December 1999 on the Common Organisation of the Markets in Fishery and Aquaculture Products.
Commission Regulation (EC) No 2065/2001 of 22 October 2001 laying down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 104/2000 as regards informing consumers about fishery and aquaculture products Directive 2006/113/EC of 12 December 2006 on the Quality Required of Shellfish Waters.
Council Directive 2006/88/EC of 24 October 2006 on Animal Health Requirements for Aquaculture Animals and Products Thereof, and on the Prevention and Control of Certain Diseases in Aquatic Animals.