This was a temporary blog, specifically for the walk across Turkey. Visit Matt's permanent website, www.mattkrause.com.
Mrs. Waters, the teacher of Denise Waters’ 4th grade class at Norman Rockwell Elementary, asks, “Do they have fish hatcheries?”
In fact, she asked more than that. She also asked if they had dams. She asked, “Why are their lakes so perfect?” She asked if the streams and rivers are the same. She asked what kinds of fish are in the area.
Holy cow, so many questions! Who do you think you are Mrs. Waters, Alisa, asking me so many questions like that? Okay, here we go…
Yes, they definitely have fish hatcheries in this country. Wherever there is water, there are bound to be plenty of fish restaurants, but the fish often actually come from a hatchery a long ways away.
In areas near salt water, like Istanbul and Turkey’s coastal cities, sea bass and gilt-head bream are very popular at restaurants. A few years ago, I had a student whose family ran a fish restaurant in Istanbul. He told me most of the fish they, and the other restaurants in Istanbul, serve, actually come from fish farms hundreds of kilometers away.
In freshwater areas, like where I’m staying now, or in the mountains, trout are very popular. However, the trout served at restaurants are rarely caught wild. They almost always come from a fish farm right there on the restaurant’s grounds. In fact, you can often walk around the large concrete tanks where they grow the fish.
Only a minority of the fish raised in the farms is consumed domestically. According to the United Nations, 75% of Turkey’s farmed fish production is exported, mostly to Europe.
As for hatcheries for conservation, not human consumption, I don’t know and I can’t find any information on that. I know a couple people I can ask, though. I’ll get back to you on that in a few days.
As for dams, yes, they definitely have those too. Lake Egirdir, where I am staying now, is a naturally-occurring lake. However, in the southeast many of the lakes are man-made, building up behind dams supplying hydroelectricity and storing water for irrigation. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers both originate in Turkey, and are both heavily dammed. I write about that briefly here.
Mrs. Waters also asked, “Why are their lakes so perfect?” I don’t know, I guess because they are? Could you be more specific? Same for whether their streams and rivers are the same. Sorry to talk like a teacher to an actual teacher here, but you’re going to have to be more specific than that.
I’ll get back to you on that conservation thing. Fish have never existed for me as anything but something to eat, so I’ve got to get some outside help on that one.