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Two fishermen from Pärnu County were found guilty of violating fishing requirements

Evidence: gill nets with non-conforming mesh sizes and fish

The Supreme Court dismissed the complaints of two professional fishermen in Pärnu County, in which they questioned the legality of the measuring methodology and measuring instruments used by the Environmental Inspectorate.

As a result of the Supreme Court judgment, previous convictions of Pärnu County Court entered into force, imposing penalties on the fishermen for the use of gill nets with smaller mesh size than permitted and for causing significant environmental damage.

In early spring 2016, one of the fishermen (Kairo Sutt) caught 897 perches and, to a lesser extent, other types of fish, with 17 gill nets with a smaller mesh size than is permitted in the Gulf of Riga, causing total environmental damage of €14,512.
By a judgment of 29 May 2018, the Pärnu County Court sentenced him to one and a half years’ imprisonment, of which three days of provisional custody were deducted. The sentence is imposed on a probationary period of two years.
The other professional fisherman (Mihkel Leas) was found guilty of catching a total of 1,557 perches in various fisheries with unmarked gill nets with smaller mesh sizes than is permitted in the autumn of 2015, causing environmental damage of €24,912.

He was fined 170 daily rates, or 1,700 euros, by a decision of the Pärnu County Court of 13 June 2018. This was accompanied by an earlier conditional prison sentence of 2 years and 6 months that he had not covered.

The environmental damage caused by illegal fishing has been awarded to the state.

The gill nets of a smaller mesh size than is permitted used were confiscated and are subject to destruction.

The Environmental Inspectorate identified the violations in the course of routine monitoring, based on a risk analysis and the planned actions based on it.

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