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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 23.05.2018, 23:40

Estonia to follow Latvia's suit with fishing restrictions for amateurs

BC, Tallinn, 19.06.2017.Print version
In Latvia limits apply to the quantities of fish allowed to be caught in recreational fishing and it is high time for Estonia to follow the example of Latvia, especially considering that Latvian recreational fishers are very active both in Lake Peipsi and in Parnu Bay in Estonia, Rainer Vakra, chairman of the Riigikogu environmental committee, said LETA/BNS.

The environmental committee put to the Monday session of the Riigikogu for the final vote an amendment creating the possibility to regulate the daily catches, which among other things is aimed at curbing the activity of recreational fishers from Latvia, spokespeople for the Riigikogu said.

Pointing out that it has been illegal in Estonia to sell fish caught in recreational fishing since 2004, Vakra said that as things stand now, catches in recreational fishing depend only on the skills of the fishers, which if too good enable them to catch more than is necessary for their own needs and create the motivation to try and sell extra catches.

"Our southern neighbors meanwhile have limits on daily catches in place to restrict recreational fishing and the sale of fish caught in recreational fishing. It is time to take a step like this in Estonia too, and this is what the Fishing Act will enable to do. The daily limit will be introduced with a regulation of the minister of environment, there is no point in setting a maximum limit for each species by law," he said.

The MP said that selling of fish by recreational fishers was outlawed in 2004 to eliminate unfair competition between professional fishers and amateurs and draw a line between activity that people engage in for a living and a hobby.

"There not enough fish to enable all interest groups to make a living on it," Vakra said.

In the future, recreational fishermen fishing on the basis of fishing cards will not be punished under misdemeanor procedure for failing to submit catch data. Fishing card will be necessary when fishing gear with greater impact, like entangling nets or longlines, are used in recreational fishing, and also when spinning reels are used for fishing in trout and salmon rivers.

A rule will be established that, if a recreational fisher has failed to submit catch data in due time, they will not be issued a fishing card. Up to now, a similar rule has been in force with a precondition that the person has to have been previously punished for the relevant offense. As an assessment is given to the situation of the resources and fishing opportunities are allocated on the basis of catch data, obtaining of accurate catch data is very important.

The bill will also make changes to the law to implement European Union law, which is necessary for better operation of the point system for infringements by masters of fishing vessels. Editorial amendments and amendments arising from practical implementation will also be made to the current law.

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