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Fish Tales – Episode 2: Şevket from Turkey

Welcome to another episode of Fish Tales. This time, we are in Turkey.

By Jeremy Herry

«My name is Şevket. I live in Turkey. I am 67 years old, and I’ve been fishing since I was a kid.»

Being a fisher. Caring for nature.

«I started fishing when I was just nine years old. My father taught me. But he didn’t just teach me how to fish. He taught me how to become a fisher.

You see, to me, fishing isn’t just a hobby. When in the early hours of the morning, I set my boat towards Izmir bay, to catch fresh gilt-head bream, cuttlefish or octopus – that’s my whole life. Fishing is my lifestyle. It’s how I feed my family.

And when I’m out on my fishing boat, I’m never alone. I’m sharing the waves with wonderful creatures: sea turtles and dolphins. I spent most of my time at sea, so in a way, we sort of live together. I love seeing the dolphins jump!

Unfortunately, although we usually get along just fine, fishing can sometimes put them in danger. 

Şevket from Turkey © BirdLife Europe and Central Asia

 A turtle once got caught in my trammel net. The same thing happened to dolphins – twice. It’s important to me to help protect these animals. Why? Because I know that if they get caught in my nets, it’s dangerous for them, and I don’t want them to get hurt. Even if they somehow manage to escape from the net, they’re still at risk. I wish all fishers would work in a respectable way. If I see vulnerable species somewhere, I’m not fishing in that area: I leave them at peace.»

Image credits: Şevket from Turkey © BirdLife Europe and Central Asia

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