BTC terminal in Yumurtalık makes landlubbers of fishermen

Approximately 20 former fishermen now work on a daily basis for a company managing the restoration of a castle in Yumurtalık.

April 12, 2008, Saturday/ 18:34:00
As restrictions around the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline terminal edge out their boats and pollution caused by industrial facilities in the region reduce their catches, fishermen in Adana's Yumurtalık region have been forced to become laborers.Approximately 20 former fishermen now work on a daily fee at a company that manages the restoration of a castle in the area.

The BTC terminal and the Sugözü thermal power plant have greatly restricted the marine areas available to fishermen, while associated pollution at the thriving port has seen the 64 fish species in Yumurtalık-İskenderum Gulf in 1999 shrink to a current 38.

Both the terminal and power plant have rejected fishermen's appeals for compensation, though many such cases remain pending. Meanwhile, in the event fishermen ply their trade in the restricted region, they are fined YTL 5,000 and imprisoned if they do not pay. Seven fishermen are now behind bars.

Hasan Aydın, head of the Yumurtalık Fishermen and Environmental Protection Association, noted that BTC officials have promised they will take environmental and social precautions and provide new employment opportunities to everybody previously earning a living in the areas affected. He claimed that they have not kept their promise.

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