LÜFER (Bluefish) is a glitter in people’s eyes, big time money for the small & big fisherman. When the seasonal migration starts lüfer fishing becomes an addictive daily routine for the retired, unemployed and off time employer/hobbyists across Bosporus. If you have a chance to travel around Istanbul’s coastline on a day in October, you can count close to ten thousand active fishing rods, day & night. It forms a social occasion for gathering families & friends, for table conversations all around the canal bisecting the largest city of Turkey. Lüfer means a lot for more than 15 million people residing along the Bosphorus today. It has been a huge nutrition source for many thousands of years.
Bluefish is an aggressive predator and attacks almost any undersized fish. There are stories of careless fisherman that lost fingers or get a good scratch while trying to release it from the fishing hook. Some fisherman say the bluefish schools chase even the dolphins. This fish is well known with it’s seasonal migration pattern and the Mediterranean population is unique in this since the geological age of the channel system is quite young. The formation of the Bosphorus dates back to a geological event that split open the way for flooding of the Blacksea 9500 years ago and may be the source of the biblical flood story.
Human population increase and heavy industrialization of the region since 1950’s have been taking toll. The Bosphorus is one of the largest bluefish harvest location in the World. The numbers of fish migrating are diminishing year by year. There are efforts by individuals and NGOs to portray this fact with public awareness campaigns and advertisements. Until now no one has ever truly documented the bluefish migration. Moreover, the documentary aims to capture the migration season through the eyes of the people inhabiting Istanbul.
The director Mert Gökalp has considerable underwater filming experience and has worked with the Netherlands’ TV broadcaster NTR-HET KLOKHUIS to film documentaries in different parts of the world. Gökalp is also the author of an underwater field guide book covering species found along Turkish coast.
You can support the project through the Indigogo Campaign set up for fundraising for the documentary.