Traversing ice on smaller freshwater zones in Estonia is forbidden from this week, the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) says, with the ruling mostly affecting bodies of water in the southeastern border area.
This includes both Pihkva järv and Lämmijärv, and other smaller bodies of water, though not the much larger Peipsi järv.
Whereas just a few days ago, plenty of fishermen could be spotted on lake ice close to Räpina harbor, Lämmijärv, milder temperatures have led to ice melt to an extent that this is no longer possible or safe.
The main issue is public information, the PPA says.
PPA official Davet Dorbek told ETV news show Aktuaalne kaamera (AK) Monday that: "We were expecting large hordes of fishermen, but yesterday, when the ice conditions worsened substantially during the day, we carried out as much informative work as much as possible – on behalf of Latvian fishermen and Estonian fishermen alike - and it seems that it has helped since as of today there are not many people still on the ice."
Those who attempt to go out on the ice will be sent back to the shore, Dorbek said, adding that nonetheless social media notifications were not always sufficient, particularly for older fishermen, meaning other avenues are required.
In any case the conditions are deteriorating so rapidly as spring arrives, that nature is also doing the job itself, AK reported.
The PPA uses hovercraft to convey back to shore errant fishermen who were unaware of the ban or chose to ignore it.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael
Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera'