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Agreement with Russia caps 2018 catches in border lakes at 4,086 tons

Estonian smelt fish.
Estonian smelt fish. Source: (Mailiis Ollino/Scanpix)

Estonian fishermen can catch 4,086 tons of fish in the interconnected Lake Peipus, Lake Lämmijärv, and Lake Pskov on the Russian border in 2018, according to an agreement on harvest caps between the two countries. This is 579 tons more than could be caught in the current year.

For the first time in a decade, fishers can again catch smelt in the border lakes, a small species of fish that previously was protected.

Of the major species in the lakes, the Estonian quota is 1,230 tons for perch, 650 tons for pike perch, 875 tons for bream, 400 tons for vendace and smelt, 80 tons for pike, and 250 tons for roach, the Ministry of the Environment said on Friday.

"Even though smelt is valuable prey for the numerous predatory fish species in the lake, the very good strength of the generations of the past two years makes it possible also for professional fishermen to harvest that species again after a long break," Marku Lamp, the deputy secretary-general of the ministry who represented Estonia in the negotiations with Russia, said.

"The improvement in the condition of the vendace stock is positive as well. Fishermen will be allowed to harvest that species from June 21 to Aug. 20 next year, and during that period will be allowed to harvest 355 tons of vendace more than they could in 2017," Lamp added.

The limits on catches are established based on recommendations by scientists from both countries.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS

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