Turkish ministry to reward fishermen for killing invasive toadfish

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Fishermen will be rewarded with 5 Turkish Liras (60 cents) for every tail of toadfish, which is an invasive species growing rapidly in the Aegean and the Mediterranean Seas, they bring to support biodiversity, the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry announced on Dec. 1.

“Toadfish that has entered from the Red Sea is an invasive species. They pose a grave threat to other fish species,” the officials said, noting the announcement published on the Official Gazette.

According to the announcement, the target is to reach 1 million toadfish tails and make the payment for the same by Dec. 31.

“For each tail, 5 liras will be rewarded. The tail should be stripped off the toadfish body. No payment will be made for the whole body,” according to the announcement.

“Take the tail out of the fish by holding with protective gloves,” it added, noting that fishermen must kill the fish with only one hit to the head following ethical rules.

Payments to the fishermen will be made via Ziraat Bank after five days from submitting the toadfish tails, according to the announcement.

Toadfish, which is an extremely poisonous marine bony fish due to the presence of tetrodotoxin that it contains in its ovaries and skin, is commonly found in the tropical waters of Indian and Pacific oceans. The fish can live on rocky bottoms from shallow coastal waters up to 250 meters in depth.

The venom in toadfish comes in the list of most dangerous poisons known to man. If the fish is consumed, it causes paralysis of muscles, constricts breathing, and induces heart failure in people.

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