September 6, 2021, Aydıncık, Mersin Province, Turkey. – AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC, with the support of Aydıncık District Governorship and Aydıncık Municipality, arranged a fishing competition near the construction site of Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, the first nuclear power plant in the Republic of Turkey. A total of 30 amateur fishermen from the local community participated in the event. AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC actively participates in the public life of the NPP construction region and the recent competition aimed at strengthening the interaction with the local population and supporting the fishing industry which is traditional for the region was no exception.


The event began with a briefing of the participants, and then everyone was given a special uniform, and ten fishing boats carrying three-people teams went out to sea.


At the end of the competition, the catch was measured and weighed, and then the official awarding ceremony was held. The competition was held in two categories: among teams, to determine the heaviest catch, as well as among individuals, where the winner turned out to be the participant who caught the largest fish. In the team event, Hasan Artırık's team won first place, Soner Küçük's team came second, and Veli Bıçak's team came third. Among individuals, Lütfi Buldurluoğlu took the first place, having caught a leerfish over 10 kg. Three participants of the winners received awards from AKKUYU NUCLEAR. Three members of the winning team and the leader among individuals were also awarded commemorative trophies.


At the awards ceremony, Eyyup Lutfi Sarıcı, expert of the Regional Communication Unit, spoke on behalf of AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC. "The Mediterranean Sea basin is famous for its biodiversity, and it’s richness depends directly on the environmental situation in the region. AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC, being the company implementing Turkey's first nuclear power plant project, is building an environmentally friendly and safe power source in Büyükeceli village of Gülnar District, which will make an invaluable contribution to the environmental conservation of our beautiful province. We intend to make this competition a good tradition and to hold it regularly in order to demonstrate the nuclear power plant’s safety for the region’s ecosystem," he said, addressing guests and participants of the competition.


The ceremony was also attended by Aydıncık District Governor Muhammet Kılıçaslan and Mayor of Aydıncık Ferat Akan.


"Turkey, unlike Russia or Middle Eastern countries, does not possess significant reserves of fossil energy resources. We try to offset the lack of them by both renewable energy sources and nuclear energy. When Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, which is being built in Mersin Province, is commissioned, it will account for a significant share of the total energy consumption in the Republic of Turkey. The plant is being built using state-of-the-art technologies that do not cause any harm to the environment. I thank all participants and guests of the competition and warmly congratulate the winners!" - Aydıncık District Governor Muhammet Kılıçaslan noted.


"The nuclear power plant construction project is of immense importance for our region and the country as a whole. Turkey uses all the energy resources at its disposal - water, sun and wind - to the best of its ability, but they do not allow us to become fully energy independent, which is why we need nuclear power so much. Furthermore, AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC has been implementing a large number of initiatives aimed at supporting the population. Today's tournament is another example of how the company honors the region’s traditions and supports our traditional crafts. We are confident that the plant’s commissioning will further enhance the positive effect we are already seeing,” said Mayor of Aydıncık Ferat Akan.


Lütfi Buldurluoğlu, first-prize winner among individuals: "I have been fishing since 8 years and I have already won such competitions; in the previous fishing tournament arranged by AKKUYU NUKLEAR JSC, I was also the first. However, I was very nervous. The secret of my success is that I used squids, which I also caught today, as bait. I would like to thank AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC for arranging the event, and it is important for us that the company supports local fishermen, by holding such tournaments".


Fishing competitions near nuclear power plants have already become traditional in Russia, and they always draw great interest from both participants and local residents. In 2019, in the waters of the Gulf of Finland, in the immediate vicinity of Leningrad NPP, Russia's largest operating nuclear power plant by installed capacity, Rosatom State Corporation arranged the first international fishing festival, which was attended by amateur fishermen from Russia and 5 countries where Rosatom is implementing nuclear power plant construction projects: Hungary, Egypt, India, Bangladesh and Turkey. One of the main objectives of such tournaments is to demonstrate the environmental friendliness of nuclear power and its safety for flora and fauna of nearby waters to the public. Now this tradition is also being initiated in Turkey, where the contest participants fish in the Mediterranean Sea near the Akkuyu NPP construction site. Such competitions were first held there in 2014.