Lake Peipus fisheries area to receive €4.5 million through 2020 from EMFF
The fisheries area comprised of Lakes Peipus, Pskov and Lammijärv is slated to receive 4.5 million euros from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) over the next five years through a 2014-2020 program, the objectives of which will focus on the overhaul of fishing ports as well as the diversification of the activities of fishermen.
“We wish to complete the development of the region’s fishing ports,” said Urmas Pirk, President of the Development Association of Peipsi Fishery Area, at an informational event held in Mustvee, a small town on the western shore of Lake Peipus.
“By 2023 there should be 15 modern fishing ports in the fisheries area spanning [the shores of] Ida-Viru, Jõgeva, Tartu and Põlva Counties,” he noted.
In addition, investments are planned in the processing of fish to allow professional fishermen to receive a bigger share of the final value of their products.
Another important area of activity is opening the Lake Peipus region to visitors, as Estonia’s largest lake and the adjoining bodies of water to its south are only accessible to visitors at a limited number of locations.
“The fact that there are no decent roads accessing the lake and that services geared toward tourists are rather few and far in between means that we are not fully exploiting Lake Peipus’ full potential,” explained Pirk.
As that is the case, the program’s objectives also include the establishment of new locations for recreation and swimming as well as an overhaul of existing ones, improving accommodation opportunities, and putting 80 new boat launches at the disposal of the public.
According to the national investment packages adopted by the European Commission, the total size of the EMFF’s investment package for Estonia for the 2014-2020 period is 129.6 million euros, including 101 million euros in EU funds. Of that money, 27.7 million euros are to be spent on the development of coastal areas.
According to the strategy for the Lake Peipus fisheries area, of the 4.54 million euros earmarked for the region, 30 percent will be invested in the reconstruction of fishing ports, 25 percent in the diversification of activities within the fisheries as well as into other sectors of maritime economy, 20 percent in the processing and marketing of fish products, 20 percent in advancing fishery traditions, and 5 percent in the restoration of fish spawning areas.
There is a total of eight distinct fishery areas in Estonia.