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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 27.05.2020, 01:02

Estonia's fishing quotas in NW Atlantic to increase next year

BC, Tallinn, 21.09.2018.Print version
The fish harvesting quotas of Estonia in Northwest Atlantic will be bigger for several fish species next year, it was agreed at the annual meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) held in Tallinn from Monday to Friday, informs LETA/BNS.

The fish species for which the Estonian quota for next year is bigger than this year include cod and redfish. Shrimping was not reopened yet, but will apparently resume in 2020, the Ministry of the Environment said.

"Estonians used to be the biggest shrimpers in Northwest Atlantic for years, but harvesting was banned when stocks deteriorated. All indicators suggest that we can resume harvesting in 2020. Resumption of shrimping, which will have been closed for almost ten years by then, would for sure significantly invigorate our fishing economy," Estonian Minister of the Environment Siim Kiisler said.

He said that in 2005, for instance, nine boats sailing under the Estonian flag harvested 12,290 tons of shrimp.

The other quota decisions having to do with Estonia concern redfish and cod, the quotas for both of which were increased.

The Atlantic redfish quota for Estonia next year is 2,400 tons and the quota for Atlantic cod 200 tons. The country is also entitled to catch 330 tons of lesser halibut, 300 tons of skates and 50 tons of witch next year.

At present Estonia harvests Atlantic redfish, lesser halibut, cod and skates in Northwest Atlantic and its catches of the said species taken together amounted to around 5,000 tons last season. Before 2010, when shrimping was still allowed, Estonia's annual catches totaled over 10,000 tons.

Estonian ships started fishing in the NAFO fisheries area in the 1970s, when the country was a part of the Soviet Union. At the beginning of this century there were 13 Estonian vessels harvesting in the area, including 11 shrimping boats. At present five Estonian fishing boats work in the northern portion of the Atlantic.

In addition to agreeing about the quotas for next year, the NAFO meeting in Tallinn discussed amendments to fishing regulations, stepping up surveillance and protection of sensitive maritime areas.

There are 12 state and other parties to NAFO: Canada, Cuba, Faroe Islands and Greenland, the EU, Iceland, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Korea, St. Pierre and Miquelon, Ukraine, and the United States. Estonia became a member of NAFO in 1992.

The NAFO 40th annual meeting in Tallinn was attended by 180 participants from other countries. The last time Estonia hosted an annual meeting of NAFO was in 2005.


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