Valmis ingliskeelne tõlge raamatust "Eesti kalamajandus 2019".
you will certainly find interesting facts about the development and trends of our fisheries in this yearbook – some of them are gratifying, while some are sadder. If we opt for domestic fish in a shop or at a market, gratifying figures will certainly prevail in the future.
And for the ninth time, I am ending the foreword to the fisheries yearbook with the same suggestion: Eat fish and, whenever possible, Estonian fish!
Head of Fisheries Information Centre
The Fisheries Information Centre has published yet another yearbook on the activities of the Estonian fisheries sector. It provides an overview of how our fisheries performed in 2019.
On the negative side, 2019 will be remembered by the word Listeria. And although the sector’s reputation has been restored as a result of lengthy judicial disputes, the setbacks caused by Listeria are reflected in the financial statements of many companies. Fortunately, in 2019, the word corona was still associated with a childhood table game for most people and no one could have imagined how a virus could change the way the whole world works overnight. This will be discussed in the next yearbook.
Sprat and herring account for the lion’s share of fish caught in Estonian waters. As the launch of the Paldiski component plant made it possible to pay fishermen a worthy price for the less valuable part of their catches, a situation arose in which higher prices were also sought for sprat and herring sorted for human consumption, whose main market is Ukraine. In connection with this, the Estonian Association of Fishery, in cooperation with the Fisheries Information Centre, started a project to popularise Baltic sprat and herring as a high-quality fish raw material on the Ukrainian market.
The number of Estonian coastal fishermen has remained at around two thousand for a long time, and the average age of fishermen continues to be over fifty years. Thus, there has been no decisive generational change. More than three-quarters of coastal fishermen’s income still comes from perch and Baltic herring, while inland fishery relies on pikeperch and perch. Eight Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) are constantly looking for new opportunities for our coastal fishermen and coastal communities because the current state of fish stocks obviously cannot provide all coastal people with year-round work and income. As the current budget period will end in 2022, future strategies are being drawn up to ensure that the profession of coastal fisherman will still exist in Estonia in the decades to come.
In 2019, the number of our fish processing companies increased somewhat. The output and total sales revenue also increased.
Aquaculture production was higher in 2019 than in previous years, but regrettably there is no significant growth yet. Several companies were interested in setting up offshore fish farms; if and when legislation regulating this area is adopted at the national level, production figures will hopefully start to increase. Without marine farms, domestic fish farming will probably remain a relatively insignificant industry for a very long time to come.