Sustainability of the hookah diving fishery in Turkey

  • Uğur Karadurmuş Bandırma Onyedi Eylül University, Maritime Vocational School, Balıkesir 10200, Turkey
  • Mehmet Aydın Ordu University, Fatsa Faculty of Marine Sciences, Ordu 52400, Turkey
Keywords: Compressor diving, small-scale fisheries, fisheries management, sustainability development, SWOT


Hookah diving is a traditional fishing method based on the hand collection of commercial benthic organisms. Fishers continue their profession without paying attention to their physical health and psychophysical fitness. Ignoring the diving safety and decompression rules underwater, using improvised diving systems, and economic concerns carry risks that can result in death. The long-term sustainability of work depends on nations’ ability to control fishing practices and promote good management. This study discusses the current situation of hookah divers in Turkey based on official statistics from the ministry and face-to-face interviews with hookah divers. The data were subjected to strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis and synthesised with the literature for strategic analysis. The sector’s contribution to the national economy, economic satisfaction of divers, and supporting rural employment were evaluated as strengths. Lack of expertise in the professional career and complex laws were identified as threats that require urgent solutions. Multidirectional national efforts are needed for sustainable fishing, including stakeholder networking, diving safety, hookah equipment, underwater fishing strategies, training curricula and professional career development. Our findings offer strategic and planning approaches for the sustainable development of hookah diving in Turkey.


Acencio-Lane JC, Smart D, Lippmann J (2019) A 20-year analysis of compressed gas diving related deaths in Tasmania, Australia. Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine 49: 21–29.

Altınağaç U, Ayaz A, Kara A (2004) A preliminary study on the whelk fisheries (Rapana venosa) using liftnets of various sizes. Ege Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 21: 295–299.

Aydın M (2017) Present status of the sea cucumber fishery in Turkey. SPC Beche-de-mer Information Bulletin 37: 30–34.

Aydın M, Düzgüneş E, Karadurmuş U (2016) Rapa whelk (Rapana venosa) fishery along the Turkish Coast of The Black Sea. Journal of Aquaculture Engineering and Fisheries Research 2: 85–96.

Aydın M, Sevgili H, Tufan B, Emre Y, Köse S (2011) Proximate composition and fatty acid profile of three different fresh and dried commercial sea cucumbers from Turkey. International Journal of Food Science & Technology 46: 500–508.

Barbosa-Filho MLV, de Souza GBG, de Faria Lopes S, Hauser-Davis RA, Siciliano S, da Silva Mourao J (2020) Artisanal fisher knowledge and attitudes concerning compressor fishing in a North-Eastern Brazilian marine protected area. Human Ecology 48: 357–366.

Bene C, Tevfik A (2001) Fishing effort allocation and fishermen’s decision making process in a multi-species small-scale fishery: analysis of the conch and lobster fishery in Turks and Caicos Islands. Human Ecology 29: 157–186.

Bjordal (2002) The use of technical measures in responsible fisheries: regulation of fishing gear. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No: 424. FAO, Rome, Italy.

Buonfiglio G, Lovatelli A (2023) A practical guide on safe hookah diving – diving for sea cucumbers and other marine organisms. FAO, Rome, Italy.

Castillo RCA (2011) When fishing is no longer viable: environmental change, unfair market relations, and livelihood in a small fishing community in the Philippines. Center on Migration, Citizenship and Development, Bad Salzuflen, Germany.

Çekiç M, Hereklioğlu M, Ergüden D (2020) Socio-economic situation of fishermen of sea cucumber (Holothuroidae) fisheries in the Aegean Sea. Acta Aquatica Turcica 16: 214–237.

Chin W, Huchim-Lara O, Wegrzyn GH, Sprau SE, Salas S, Markovitz GH (2015) CO and CO2 analysis in the diving gas of the fishermen of the Yucatan Peninsula. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society 42: 297–305.

Cowx IG, Arlinghaus R, Cooke SJ (2010) Harmonizing recreational fisheries and conservation objectives for aquatic biodiversity in inland waters. Journal of Fish Biology 76: 2194–2215.

Demirel N, Zengin M, Ulman A (2020) First large-scale eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea stock assessment reveals a dramatic decline. Frontiers in Marine Science 7: 103.

Denoble PJ, Richardson D, Cummings B, Lippmann J, Marroni A, Vann R (2011) Fatality rates in recreational scuba diving. In: Book of abstract. Recreational Diving Fatalities Workshop Proceedings, Durham, North Carolina.

Dereli H, Aydın M (2021) Sea cucumber fishery in Turkey: Management regulations and their efficiency. Regional Studies in Marine Science 41: 101551.

Doğan K (2017) Past, today and the future of fisheries cooperatives in Turkey. Aquatic Sciences and Engineering 32: 21–34.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (2022) The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022. Towards Blue Transformation. FAO, Rome, Italy.

Friedman K, Eriksson H, Tardy E, Pakoa K (2011) Management of sea cucumber stocks: patterns of vulnerability and recovery of sea cucumber stocks impacted by fishing. Fish and Fisheries 12: 75–93.

Glass JR, Kruse GH, Miller SA (2015) Socioeconomic considerations of the commercial weathervane scallop fishery off Alaska using SWOT analysis. Ocean & Coastal Management 105: 154–165.

González-Wangüemert M, Aydin M, Conand C (2014) Assessment of sea cucumber populations from the Aegean Sea (Turkey): first insights to sustainable management of new fisheries. Ocean & Coastal Management 92: 87–94.

Huchim-Lara O (2010) Enfermedad por descompresion en pescadores de langosta de la costa oriente de Yucatan (Master thesis). Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico City.

Huchim-Lara O, Salas S, Chin W, Montero J, Fraga J (2015) Diving behavior and fishing performance: the case of lobster artisanal fishermen of the Yucatan coast, Mexico. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society 42: 285–296.

Huchim-Lara O, Salas S, Fraga J, Mendez-Dominguez N, Chin W (2016). Fishermen’s perceptions and attitudes toward risk diving and management issues in small-scale fisheries. American Journal of Human Ecology 5: 1–10.

Indra F, Dirgantara R, Youvan T, Tania C, Duffy H, Steadman D (2019) Time to catch your breath: survey on compressor fishing in Aceh province, Indonesia to inform conservation action. Fauna & Flora International, Cambridge, UK.

Kabasakal H (2022) Artizan Dalgıç. Turkish Marine Research Foundation, İstanbul, Türkiye.

Karadurmuş U (2021) Individual seafood diver in Turkey - case of Balikesir province. In: Book of Abstract. International Symposium of Scientific Research and Innovative Studies, Balıkesir, Türkiye.

Karadurmuş U, Alkan S (2022) Marine activity drownings in Turkey: In-depth analysis and recommendations. In: Book of Abstract. Ulusal Sualtı Bilimsel Araştırma ve Değerleri Sempozyumu 2022, Çanakkale, Türkiye

Khanal S, Khatri S, Khanal S, | Fatih Yildiz (Reviewing editor) (2020) Production, marketing, and future prospects of fish farming in Nepal: National and global scenario. Cogent Food & Agriculture 6: 1.

Kınacıgil TH, Tosunoğlu Z, Çaklı Ş, Bey E, Öztürk H (2017) İzmir balıkçılığı. Kristal, İzmir, Türkiye.

Laloe F, Samba AA (1991) Simulation model of artisanal fisheries of Senegal. ICES Journal of Marine Science 193: 281–286.

Link JS, Watson RA (2019) Global ecosystem overfishing: Clear delineation within real limits to production. Science Advances 5: eaav047.

Lippmann J (2010) Diving deaths down under. In: Wan DR, Lang MA (Eds) Recreational Diving Fatalities Workshop Proceedings, Divers Alert Network, Durham, UK.

Long RJ, Haddock N, Leask PA, Dear DL, Moon RE (2002) Prevalence of decompression sickness among southeast Alaska harvest divers. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society 29: 148–149.

Miller AMM, Bush SR, Mol APJ (2014) Power Europe: EU and the illegal, unreported and unregulated tuna fisheries regulation in the West and Central Pacific Ocean. Marine Policy 45: 138–145.

Muallil RN, Cleland D, Alino PM (2013) Socioeconomic factors associated with fishing pressure in small-scale fisheries along the West Philippine Sea biogeographic region. Ocean and Coastal Management 82: 27–33.

Parvez MT, Mohsin ABM, Chaki N, Galib SM (2017) Risking lives for living: a study on underwater fishing in the Padma River, Bangladesh. Journal of Fisheries 5(3): 525–530.

Pet-Soede L, Erdmann M (1998) An overview and comparison of destructive fishing practices in Indonesia. SPC Live Reef Fish Information Bulletin 4: 28–36

Pramod G, Nakamura K, Pitcher TJ, Delagran L (2014) Estimates of illegal and unreported fish in seafood imports to the USA. Marine Policy 48: 102–13.

Pronzato R, Manconi R (2008) Mediterranean commercial sponges: over 5000 years of natural history and cultural heritage. Marine Ecology 29: 146–66.

Purcell SW, Mercier A, Conand C, Hamel JF, Toral-Granda MV, Lovatelli A, Uthicke S (2013) Sea cucumber fisheries: global analysis of stocks, management measures and drivers of overfishing. Fish and Fisheries 14: 34–59.

Rahman MM, Haque SM, Galib SM, Islam MA, Parvez MT, Hoque MN, Wahab MA, Egna H, Brown C (2020) Mud crab fishery in climate vulnerable coastal Bangladesh: an analysis towards sustainable development. Aquaculture International 28: 1243–1268.

Sağlam H, Dağtekin M, Kutlu S, Bascınar S, Sahin A, Düzgünes E (2017) Rapa whelk pot fishery in the Black Sea of Turkey: pot type, soak time, depth and season. Cahiers de Biologie Marine 58: 75–81.

Şahin A. (2004) Deniz salyangozu avcılığında tuzak ve sepetlerin kullanım olanakları (Master thesis). Accessed from the database of the National Thesis Center (Thesis no: 156065).

Salas S, Bjorkan M, Bobadilla F, Cabrera MA (2011) Addressing vulnerability: coping strategies of fishing communities in Yucatan, Mexico. In: Jentoft S, Eide A (Eds) Poverty Mosaics: realities and prospects in small-scale fisheries. Springer, Dordrecht, Holland.

Samoilys MA, Osuka K, Maina GW, Obura DO (2017) Artisanal fisheries on Kenya’s coral reefs: decadal trends reveal management needs. Fisheries Research 186: 177–191.

Smart D (2010) Health risk management in the Tasmanian abalone diving industry. Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine 40: 83–87.

Tan S., Demir O (2015) Tarımda küresel sorunların çözümünde sosyal girişimcilik ve tarımsal amaçlı kooperatiflerin rolü: Çanakkale ili örneği. In Kavruk H (Ed), XXI. International Turkish Cooperative Congress, Karabük, Türkiye (in Turkish).

Toklu AS, Cimşit M (2009) Sponge divers of the Aegean and medical consequences of risky compressed-air dive profiles. Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine 80: 414–417.

US Navy (2016) US Navy diving manual (Revision 7). Government Printing Office, Washington, USA.

Vann RD, Butler FK, Mitchell SJ, Moon RE (2011) Decompression Illness. The Lancet 377: 153–164.

Zengin M, Kaykaç H, Tosunoğlu Z, Yıldız T, Uzer U (2022) Selectivity characteristics of the sorting grid in shrimp beam trawls used to reduce bycatch in the Sea of Marmara. Acta Aquatica Turcica 18: 535–549.

How to Cite
Karadurmuş, U., & Aydın, M. (2023). Sustainability of the hookah diving fishery in Turkey. Journal of Fisheries, 11(3), 113205.