More Marketing, Training Needed to Grow Turkish Seafood Market

15 July 2016, at 1:00am

TURKEY - Fish is becoming more and more popular in Turkey, but more consumer information is needed to grow the market further.

Because of long-term overfishing in the waters around Turkey and a modest aquaculture industry, access to seafood is limited and the country is more dependent on imports. A growing part of the Turkish population is also concerned about eating healthier, creating a growing potential market for seafood imports.

Over the last few years, statistics have shown a marked growth in fresh salmon imports. This can be partly due to the fact that it is good to grill, which is very popular in Turkish cuisine. In addition, the sushi trend has started to take off in Turkey and here Norwegian salmon is one of the main ingredients.

Norwegian fishing institute Nofima has looked at the opportunities in the Turkish market, and concluded that there are opportunities for more exports of fresh rather than frozen fish, but Turks have limited fish knowledge, providing opportunities to grow the market using training and marketing.

"Obviously this varies depending on how near the coast they live, but on average the amount consumed is only six kilogrammes of seafood per person per year. It is low compared to Norway where we eat around 40 kilogrammes of seafood per person per year," said Gøril Voldnes, a scientist at Nofima.

"The lack of knowledge of fish has even created the myth that fatty fish, combined with dairy products, can be so dangerous that one can die from it. Thus, to increase consumption information and promotional campaigns are needed that encourage consumers to adopt new eating habits."