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Several fishing violations have already identified on Lake Peipus this year


In the first weeks of this year, the Environmental Inspectorate has already identified several dozen pieces of fishing gear illegally placed for catching purposes, including poorly marked or unmarked series of nets and entangling nets exceeding the maximum number of allowed entangling nets.

According to Ivo Kask, Chief Inspector of the Fish Protection Department of the Environmental Inspectorate, the problems are still the same and fishermen’s compliance with the law has not improved, although the rules have been established in their own interests. ‘Fishing regulations are necessary to ensure fair competition. Illegal fishing gear, inaccurate catch data, and insufficient marking significantly increase the fishing effort which will, in turn, shorten the fishing season, which no one wants,’ Kask added.

On 7 January, the inspectors of the Jõgevamaa county office discovered that a Lohusuu fisherman had placed four series of poorly marked open-sea nets for catching purposes without entering the nets in their fishing records. Misdemeanour proceedings were initiated in connection with the case.

On 10 January, inspectors of the Jõgevamaa county office discovered on Lake Peipsi that an Alajõe fisherman had placed 54 open-sea nets for fishing purposes instead of the permitted 22. The nets were removed and the 510 zander, 100 bream, and 18 other fish of various species were released from the nets. 78 dead zander were taken as evidence with the nets. An investigation was launched to clarify the circumstances.

On the same day, the inspectors of the Põlvamaa county office discovered a series of nets comprising nine unmarked and unlabelled nets on Lake Lämmi. It was not possible to identify the owner of the nets and the fishing gear was removed from the lake. 67 zander caught in the nets were viable and released. The open-sea nets removed from the lake and three dead zander discovered in the nets were confiscated by the Põlvamaa county office.

On 14 January, inspectors of the Jõgevamaa county office discovered on Lake Peipsi that a Lohusuu fisherman had placed 30 open-sea nets for fishing purposes instead of the permitted 23. The fisherman justified their actions by claiming that there were a lot of fish and that they made an error with the number of nets placed for catching fish. During the interrogation, the fisherman regretted their actions and promised to comply with laws in the future. The misdemeanour proceedings ended with a penalty of 400 euros imposed on the fisherman.

On 22 January, the inspectors of Jõgevamaa county office discovered at Sassukvere Harbour that a fisherman arriving from Lake Peipsi had, during the closed burbot season, taken more burbot than what was permitted as by-catch from the nets they had placed. The fisherman’s catch should not have exceeded 2.4 kg, but the fisherman had taken more than 10 kg. According to the fisherman, they had forgotten that it was currently prohibited to catch burbot and, thus, took all the burbot that were caught in the net. Misdemeanour proceedings were initiated.

On 20 January, an incident took place where fishermen arriving from Lake Lämmi left the port during an inspection and left their fish in the port. The reason given for leaving was that their work day had ended. After an hour, the inspectors managed to get in contact a representative of the company, who then picked up the fish. The company delivered the fish left in the port to their storage facilities and the inspectors were able to leave the port. No fishing violations were discovered, but leaving fish at the port unattended is inappropriate. The catch must be landed and transported to a storage facility as quickly as possible.

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