Fish prices rise due to sea mine drift

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ISTANBUL

The danger of sea mines drifting from Ukrainian waters has pushed up fish prices in Turkey by 25 to 30 Turkish liras ($1.4 to $1.7) as naval authorities have banned fishing in and around the Bosphorus.

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Turkish minehunters and maritime patrol aircraft keep a close watch on the waters off the Black Sea coast.

On March 26, a drifting sea mine was discovered at the northern approach to the Bosphorus Strait. Two days later, another was detected off İğneada near the maritime border with Bulgaria. Both mines have been defused.

Due to the ban, Istanbul’s fish markets suffered from a lack of fish on March 29, pushing prices up dramatically.

A kilo of anchovies now sells for 60 liras (4.1 dollars) and a horse mackerel for 70 liras (4.8 dollars). The sale of a kilo of sea bass starts from 140 lira ($9.6).
“The war affected all sectors,” said fisherman Şafak Gün, adding that all fishermen were on hold due to the ban.

However, he is also optimistic that prices will return to normal if the danger of sea mines is eliminated.

The Russian army alleged that the Ukrainian army used old naval mines to protect the coast against a Russian landing and some of them ripped their anchors by a storm and went adrift.

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Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry responded in a statement, accusing Russia of using Ukrainian mines it seized after the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014 and setting them adrift to “discredit the Ukraine before international partners”.

The contradictory claims by Russia and Ukraine could not be independently verified.

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