Fish quotas in Estonia's border lakes to increase for 2017 ({{commentsTotal}})

Local fishermen Pjotr and Andrei Mihhailov repair fishing nets behind their home in Varnja, on the shore of Lake Peipus. Source: (Aili Sarapik/ERR)

Estonian fishermen will be allowed to harvest 3,507 tons of fish in the interconnected Lakes Peipus, Pskov and Lämmijärv on the border with Russia in 2017, about 17 percent more than this year, according to harvest caps agreed upon by Estonian and Russian officials.

Of the major fish species harvested in these border lakes, the Estonian quota for perch is 1,150 tons, for pike perch 830 tons, for bream 800 tons, for pike 125 tons, for roach 350 tons and for European whitefish 45 tons. Quotas for each of these species were increased, the Estonian Ministry of the Environment said.

"Scientists' recommendations were taken into account in deciding on the harvest caps," said Secretrary General of the Ministry of the Environment Andres Talijärv, head of the Estonian delegation. "Scientists assessed the state of pike perch, perch, bream and pike stocks to be good, whereas restrictions on catches of smelt and houting must be left in force in order to protect their stocks."

Smelt and houting stocks remain low in part due to high numbers of prey fish in the lakes but also as a result of weather having been unfavorable for spawning.

The harvesting of smelt and houting as target species remains forbidden.

The overall fishing quota for the three lakes combined in 2017 is 7,014 tons, which is divided equally between Estonia and Russia.

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla

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