At today’s session, the Government approved an amendment to the Fishing Rules that, inter alia, establishes new requirements for the designation of fishing gear, ensuring that the movement on water bodies would be safer.
If until now it was permitted to designate static gear and their rows with flags in any colour, then from the new year, it is required to use either orange or red flags, while the bottom flag of the two-flag designation post may be of any colour. The flag size must be at least 20 × 30 centimetres, and also, reflecting strips must be used in the upper end of the flagpole.
According to the new rules, the height of the lower edge of the flag should be generally one metre above the water surface. Fishing gear used for the European river lamprey and other buoy symbols must be coloured red or orange and they must be at least 15 cm in diameter.
Upon the enforcement of the law, it is not allowed to install different types of fishing gear or fishing gear used under different fishing licenses in one row. This is necessary in order to be able to identify the owner of each of the gears, and also to check the existence of fishing rights. Additionally, the number of the marking applied to the fishing authorisation must be used when labelling the fishing gear or in the event of amateur fishing, the personal identification code of the holder of the fishing card must be used.
Trammel and drift net are removed from the list of fishing gear, meaning that these are prohibited in the waters of Estonia. At the same time, fish trap in the trap series used in Lake Peipsi and Lake Lämmijärv will be introduced as a new definition.
Upon fishing the European river lamprey, the exception of the River Narva will be repealed, since this exception has increased the illegal use of nets. Namely, it established that the lamprey cones can be held in the water without bottom caps during the period of fishing prohibition. During 2014, the Environmental Inspectorate removed a total of 17,483 illegal lamprey cones from the River Narva and in recent years, there has been a decline in lamprey catches in the River Narva.
Additionally, smaller amendments are made to the Fishing Rules. The period of fishing prohibition is extended by six days and the beginning of the prohibition period will be moved nine days ahead in the event of using certain fishing gear during the spring spawning time in Lake Peipus. At the same time, the opportunities of the Minister of the Environment for operative establishment of fishing prohibition times are extended according to the temperature regime of the water body in a certain year, which influences the spawning time of fish.
The provisions concerning the obligation to designate fishing gear and the withdrawal of lamprey cones in the River Narva are scheduled to enter into force on 1 January 2016. Otherwise, the regulation shall enter into force pursuant to general procedure on the third day following its publication in Riigi Teataja.