Fishermen straying close to the border on Narva River

A man fishing on the Estonian bank of the Narva River where it passes between the cities of Narva and Ivangorod.
A man fishing on the Estonian bank of the Narva River where it passes between the cities of Narva and Ivangorod. Source: (Aili Vahtla/ERR)

A joint raid by different agencies inspected fishermen and their vessels on the Narva River. Organizers said that awareness is on the rise and fishermen are becoming more responsible.

Joint raids by the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), Tax and Customs Board, Maritime Administration and the Environmental Inspectorate take place once or twice a year on the Narva River. Organizers say that the aim of the raids is to raise awareness rather than punish people.

"Another important aspect is exercising cooperation between different agencies. A preventative aspect of it is that people see agencies working together, that supervision is exercised and that caution is needed on bodies of water on the state border. One must know the rules," said Toomas Joakit, head of the PPA's Vasknarva border guard post.

The raid inspected 130 people and 80 vessels, with six warnings issued and proceedings launched in two cases.

"Fishermen usually make the mistake of straying closer than 20 meters to the border. They come closer than 20 meters in the heat of it, out of ignorance or carelessness, which is when we must react," Joakit said.

Fishermen were tolerant of the raid. "I believe such things are needed. If we have relevant agencies, they must work. I don't go out on the river very often, while I have been inspected before," Anatoli said.

While operatives can give fishermen advice in terms of where they can go, they cannot make the fish bite. "The fish are gone and I'm not sure where. There is none to be found," Anatoli said.

While inspectors say fishermen have become more aware of how to act on border bodies of water, many still tend to forget registering with the guard post before venturing out. People are recommended to do it at the website. The site also has more important information on what one needs to know before going out on a border body of water.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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