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Tuna Fattening Farms in Sigacik Bay, Seferihisar, Turkey

Tuna fattening farms in Sigacik Bay, Seferihisar, Izmir have been opposed by a range of social actors for about a decade. Finally, in 2018, the projects have been stopped by the judicial decisions of highest level.


Tuna fattening farms in Sigacik Bay, Seferihisar, Izmir have been opposed by a range of social actors for about a decade. Mobilizations against these fish farms have complained about the inappropriate Environmental Impact Assesments (EIAs) obtained by the fish farm projects and opened court cases aiming the withdrawal of positive EIAs and stopping these projects. Already in 2008 when the zoning plans for two fish farms have been declared for the vicinity of Sigacik [9], a range of social actors such as local people, environmentalists, researchers, local municipality, artists, local associationas and environmental lawyers have been resisting these projects [2] and the positive EIAs regarding the establishemnt of these fish farms [3]. They have been arguing that Sigacik Bay is environmentally not appropriate for such fish farms since it is a closed bay. Additionally, they have been highlighting that Seferihisar is the first Slow City (Citta Slow) of Turkey [6] and thus wants to follow a local and sustainable development model, which is not in line with the establishment of tuna fattening farms due to their social and environmental impacts. Since 2011, the judicial resistance of the movement against fish farms has been ongoing with the cancellation of EIAs and new scientific reports about the impact of fish farms. However, the company has obtained new EIAs that provided positive opinion for their establishment in Sigacik Bay. On March 2018, the third (positive) EIA obtained by the company has been rejected by the İzmir 1st Administrative Court (İdare Mahkemesi). Since this judicial decision has been approved by the Council of State (Danıştay 14. Dairesi), this step is currently being considered as a victory by the mobilized groups [3]. Additionally, another project proposing to increase the capacity of the fish farm and replacing it from Çeşme to Sığacık Bay has been rejected by the same court [3].

Basic Data
Name of conflict:Tuna Fattening Farms in Sigacik Bay, Seferihisar, Turkey
State or province:Izmir
Location of conflict:Sigacik Bay, Seferihisar
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Aquaculture and fisheries
Specific commodities:Fish
Project Details and Actors
Project details

One of the tuna fattening farms belonging to Başaranlar Su Ürünleri Yetiştiriciliği A.Ş. proposed in Sigacik Bay has been replaced in 2010 to have 3 miles of a distance to the coastline. It began to produce 700 tons per year in a marine area of 356,000 square meters. However, new tuna fattening farms [14, 15].

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Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:01/12/2009
End of the conflict:28/03/2018
Company names or state enterprises:Hünkar Ltd Şt. from Turkey - One of the companies operating sea bass and sea bream farms already in 2000s
Başaranlar Su Ürünleri Yetiştiriciliği A.Ş.
Relevant government actors:Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning, Turkey
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Seferihisar for Everybody (
The Municipality of Seferihisar, Slow City [6]
Greenpeace Mediterranean (
Platform Against Tuna Fattening Farms in Sefeihisar (
Yağcılar Demircili Çevre Koruma Derneği (Yadem)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Artists, free divers, the head of Seferihisar municipality [11]
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Protests on the sea by using (fisher) boats
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Other Environmental impacts
Other Environmental impactsSedimentation and eutrophication on the sea due to cumulative impacts of inputs in open cage fish farms
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project cancelled
Development of alternatives:Seferihisar Municipality (being part of the Slow City network) and other social actors that have been mobilising reclaim their right for an alternative local development in their region that would be more sustainable and inclusive.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:After several court cases, finally, the projects for tuna fattening farms and proposals for an increase in the capacity of existing fish farms have been stopped and approved by the Council of State.
Currently, this step is considered by activists as a definitive judicial success.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Impacts of sea bass and sea bream farms in Sigacik Bay (Orçun & Sunlu, 2007) [13]
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Final victory against fish farms in Sigacik (Birgun Newspaper, 25.03.2018) [3]
[click to view]

Tuna fattening farms have been replaced three miles away from the coastline (Haber Ekspress News, April 2013) [14]
[click to view]

Tuna fattening farms in Seferihisar (Hürriyet News, 19.01.2017)
[click to view]

Local newspaper, 2018 [4]
[click to view]

Local Newspaper, 27.03.2018 [5]
[click to view]

Protests in Sigacik against tuna fattening farms (NTV News, 2011) [11]
[click to view]

Citta Slow, Seferihisar, Turkey [6]
[click to view]

Citta Slow and Seferihisar Municipality (21.01.2017) [10]
[click to view]

News on fish farms in Seferihisar (Greenpeace blog, 2011) [7]
[click to view]

"Another crisis related to fish farms" (Local newspaper, Seferihisar) [8]
[click to view]

Environmentalists against tuna fattening farms in Sigacik (Local news, Iz Gazete, 28.03.2018) [12]
[click to view]

Call from the CHP parliamentarian to remove the fish farms out of the Sigacik Bay (27.03.2018, Hurriyet News) [14]
[click to view]

Victory against fish farms, Seferihisar (Yesil Gazete, 07.11.2011) [2]
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Protests against fish farms (TRT News, 2017) [9]
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Irmak Ertör, ICTA, UAB
Last update18/08/2019
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