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Exotic Pufferfish Leather Products


The silver-cheeked toadfish (Lagocephalus sceleratus) is a marine invasive species with the most and possibly worst impacts in the Mediterranean Sea and is currently known as a top predator abundant in selected areas along the Turkish coast. Mersea Marine Consulting aims to develop a market for this invasive species in the form of exotic sustainable leather that will contribute to offsetting many of the negative impacts of the silver-cheeked toadfish, and will benefit the marine ecosystem, economy, and livelihoods of marginalized people, both fishers and marginalized women.

The project will create a new industry from invasive pufferfish, whose populations badly need controlling in the Eastern Mediterranean to reduce their many negative impacts. The fishery will directly benefit about three dozen small-scale fishers by providing them a new diversified income stream from non-commercial species. The pufferfish skins will be collected, cleaned, salted, and then carefully tanned in small batches to be ready for production of leather products. This sustainable new eco-leather industry can substitute the niche market for exotic leathers such as snakes and alligators, a 10-billion-dollar industry, in line with consumer shifts towards ecological products with cumulative benefits to marine ecosystem health.


IMPLEMENTATION STATUS: as of the Year 2023





Exotic Pufferfish Leather Products
  • Start Date
  • End Date
  • Innovator Mersea Marine Consulting
  • OIC Financing
  • Beneficiary Turkey
  • Category
    Private Sector
  • Focal Point
    Aylin Ulman
  • Pufferfish skins (photo by Mersea Marine Consulting)
    Pufferfish skins (photo by Mersea Marine Consulting)
  • Pufferfish Photo by Ocean Image Bank/ Connor Holland
    Pufferfish Photo by Ocean Image Bank/ Connor Holland