The Estonian Environmental Board's specialized vessel "Vurr" is tasked with keeping tabs on the operations of commercial fishers operating in Pärnu Bay. There have been no major issues in the area so far this year.
Vurr, a 1.3 tonne air-powered glider with a 200 liter fuel tank that can move over ice, water and snow, roars into Pärnu Bay to check on fishers in the area.
"Do the fishers have their permits, how many different types of fishing gear do they have on their permits, do their mesh sizes match, are their logbooks filled in, are the fish they have caught of the right size," said Andres Kutsar, chief of the Environment Board's inspection department, when explaining the aim of the inspections.
"In the case of recreational fishers, we look more at the size, quantity and fishing rights for the fish caught," Kutsar added.
This year, inspectors have carried out 25 of these kinds of checks already in Pärnu County, so Vurr has been busy almost every day. Th e Environmental Board uses Vurr mostly in Pärnu County, where the most coastal and ice fishing takes place.
Kalle, a professional fisher in the area was found by the inspectors to be fishing to the highest standards. "There has been a bit, but nothing to write home about. One from some nets, two from some," he said of the latest catch.
Vurr went on to meet commercial fishers Elari and Ert, whose fishing was also found to be faultless.
"We take the fish out of the net and then we untangle it so the net can be used to catch fish again. There were fish under the first ice, now the second ice has come and there are not many more," said Elari.
Editor: Michael Cole