Shoals of deadly poisonous puffer fish spotted near Turkish beaches

Shoals of deadly poisonous puffer fish spotted near Turkish beaches
Shoals of deadly poisonous puffer fish spotted near Turkish beaches

Another challenge for Turkey, in addition to wildfires, was the emergence of schools of deadly poisonous puffer fish. Previously, this species lived only in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. For the destruction of fish, local fishermen have been paid a supplement. But coping is not so easy.

Every morning from the bay of Marmaris dozens of Turkish sailors go out to the open sea. A significant part of the catch is balon-balyk. Translated from Turkish - puffer fish. In the Mediterranean Sea, it is becoming more and more. Previously found only in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Now he is exploring new territories, and rapidly.

Not far from the picturesque beaches of Marmaris and Bodrum - schools of poisonous fish. And this is not the coast of Antalya, which the Turkish authorities call the fugu habitat, but more than 300 kilometers to the west. Bayram Kurtchu is a hereditary fisherman with whom the VGTRK correspondent goes fishing. The fishermen spent about an hour on the high seas. The weather turned bad, wind and high waves rose. Bayram decided to return. Fugu down here, at a depth of 50 meters. But it is difficult to catch her on the line. She simply gnaws at it. Gnawing the fishing line with such teeth is as easy as shelling pears. Fish even eat carrots with appetite. One touch to the insides of a cut fish with a hand without a glove is enough for the poison contained in it - tetrodotoxin - to hit the nervous system. There is still no effective antidote for poisoning.

There should be no blowfish off the coast of Turkey. But the reason is in the Suez Canal. When it was dug, saltier water from the Red Sea began to flow into the Mediterranean. Together with it, the inhabitants of the tropics swim to the north.

Turkish fishermen are promised money for every puffer caught. The tail of the silvery pufferfish, the most poisonous of the eight puffer species found in the Mediterranean Sea, is paid 5 lire - about fifty rubles. However, this is in theory, but in practice - to the nearest fugu receiving point - a day to go by sea.

"I take out up to 30-40 pieces at a time. Reception points are all empty talk. We kill it and throw it into the sea, because if the coast guard sees this fish in me, there will be problems," says fisherman Mamet Kojairi.

The water temperature in the Mediterranean Sea rises from year to year. For a fugu, the conditions are perfect. Fish are taking over local ecosystems and are already hitting commercial species. It simply eats up other inhabitants of the sea. Moreover, fugu is not at all afraid of people. Swims to beaches and promenades.

Dorado, trout, sea bass, various seafood - and all the freshest. This is one of the largest fish markets on the coast. You can find anything you want except a fugu. Nobody cooks this fish here - it's too dangerous. Cutting a puffer can be compared to the work of a jeweler. And if in Japan this is a real delicacy, the cost of a dish reaches five hundred dollars, then in Turkey, after a series of poisonings, fugu dishes were generally banned.

"It is forbidden to cook fugu in Turkish restaurants. We cannot even store it in the refrigerator. There was a case in Bodrum. They cooked fugu there, but after this dinner people ended up in the hospital!" - said the chef Suleiman Aydin.

The main threat is the proliferation of blowfish. One female can lay up to three million eggs. If at first the puffer was met at the southernmost shores of Turkey, today it is found after a thousand kilometers - in Izmir. And there is a danger that in a few years there will be nothing but fugu to fish.

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