The shells of sea snails caught in the Black Sea in Sakarya’s Kocaali district and exported after processing are also used in the ceramics, cosmetics and feed industries.
Fishermen go to sea at first light to collect sea snails and scan the seabed with their algarna nets (a fishing tool consisting of a frame and a net). After approximately 15 hours of hard work, the products are separated according to size standards.
Sea snails that meet the criteria are loaded onto trucks and sent to factories in Sinop and Ordu for processing, while the smaller ones are released back to their natural habitat.
Tons of snails caught by fishermen who have to cope with the harsh conditions of the Black Sea are sold to European and Far Eastern countries, from South Korea to Spain, after being processed. Sea snail shells are also used in the ceramics, cosmetics and feed industries.
“One of the important sources of income in the region”
Melenagzi Fisheries Cooperative President Bayram Ali Kaya told the AA correspondent that the snail hunting they started as of September 1 was affected by weather conditions.
Kaya stated that 30 boats affiliated with the cooperative are actively fishing, and 400 kilograms of sea snails are extracted per boat per day, depending on weather conditions.
Stating that snail hunting is among the important sources of income in the region, he said, “All the snails collected are exported. There is no consumption in the domestic market.”
Kaya noted that the biggest difficulty they face while practicing their profession is the shortness of the breakwaters at the entrance of the Melen Stream, which flows into the Black Sea, and said that the breakwaters should be lengthened so that they can do healthy hunting.
They work from 5 in the morning to 8 in the evening
Huseyin Tan, a fisherman who continues his father’s job, said that they fished from 5 in the morning until 8 in the evening, and they pulled the standard size algarna nets they left into the sea after dredging, which lasted between 40 and 60 minutes.
Abdullah Tan, who has been fishing for 35 years, stated that they catch fish such as horse mackerel and mullet from September to the beginning of the year.
Tan stated that they preferred snail hunting because it provides more profit and is guaranteed according to seasonal conditions and the abundance of fish, and said, “We have been able to go to the sea for 5 days due to weather conditions since 1 month. Winter is coming, sea snails are a little more secure than fish. Snails are boiled and frozen in the factories we send them to, then packaged and exported. “
Source: AA / Prepared by Irem Yildiz