Valmis ingliskeelne tõlge raamatust "Eesti kalamajandus 2017".
I believe that this yearbook gives you sufficient information about the year 2017 for Estonian fisheries – a branch of the economy the absence of which is unimaginable in our homeland, with its long coastline. Let me also remind you that the dry numbers and facts set out here actually represent the hard and necessary everyday work of many of our compatriots.
Head of Fisheries Information Centre
The Fisheries Information Centre continues the tradition of publishing yearbooks. This time, data characterising the year 2017 are presented. In the forewords to the previous yearbooks, I have occasionally noted that there were no significant changes in the sector. This is the case with the year 2017, too. Perhaps it is even good that we can talk about stability. On the other hand, it would certainly be a great pleasure to report about a huge leap in development in one or another area.
In 2017, the cornerstone of a component plant, which has already issued the first batches of production, was laid. Hopefully, that plant, set up as a result of joint efforts and adding value to production, will further strengthen the Estonian trawling sector. It is pleasant to note that we can still call ourselves masters of the Baltic Sea in trawl fishing as in addition to our country’s quotas Estonians also own a substantial share of our northern neighbours’ quotas.
In coastal fisheries, the number of fishermen remains relatively stable in both coastal and inland waters. Perch, herring and pikeperch continue to be the main sources of income. Companies operating in the fisheries sector that manage to sell their catches in Europe face the task to eco-label their production. This is simply the market situation and quite a few companies have either completed or are going through this process. As fishing is largely a seasonal field of
activity, eight coastal action groups devote a lot of attention and EMFF funds to the diversification of, and adding value to, production. Support measures also help coastal villages to remain a viable and attractive living environment for younger people. It is common knowledge that fishermen are getting older and there are not many young men willing to take up this tough job.
With the exception of the bankruptcy of one big company, 2017 was quite successful for the Estonian fish processing industry. Investments and profits increased. The fish processing industry is still a branch of the economy where exports play an important role, but it is a pleasure to report that the share of the domestic market has also increased.
In fish farming, unfortunately, no positive changes have occurred. There was no significant increase in production volume. However, knowing what hellish heat hit fish farmers the next summer, the year 2017 can still be considered to be satisfactory and the bad news can be left to the next yearbook.