2019 Biomass and Land

Tuna Fattening Farms in Siğacık Bay

Tuna fattening farms in Sigacik Bay, Seferihisar, Izmir have been opposed by a range of social actors for about a decade. Mobilizations against these fish farms have complained about the inappropriate Environmental Impact Assesments (EIAs) obtained by the fish farm projects and opened court cases aiming the withdrawal of positive EIAs and stopping these projects. Already in 2008 when the zoning plans for two fish farms have been declared for the vicinity of Sigacik [9], a range of social actors such as local people, environmentalists, researchers, local municipality, artists, local associationas and environmental lawyers have been resisting these projects [2] and the positive EIAs regarding the establishemnt of these fish farms [3]. They have been arguing that Sigacik Bay is environmentally not appropriate for such fish farms since it is a closed bay. Additionally, they have been highlighting that Seferihisar is the first Slow City (Citta Slow) of Turkey [6] and thus wants to follow a local and sustainable development model, which is not in line with the establishment of tuna fattening farms due to their social and environmental impacts. Since 2011, the judicial resistance of the movement against fish farms has been ongoing with the cancellation of EIAs and new scientific reports about the impact of fish farms. However, the company has obtained new EIAs that provided positive opinion for their establishment in Sigacik Bay. On March 2018, the third (positive) EIA obtained by the company has been rejected by the İzmir 1st Administrative Court (İdare Mahkemesi). Since this judicial decision has been approved by the Council of State (Danıştay 14. Dairesi), this step is currently being considered as a victory by the mobilized groups [3]. Additionally, another project proposing to increase the capacity of the fish farm and replacing it from Çeşme to Sığacık Bay has been rejected by the same court [3].

Source: Ejatlas