In 2020, Latvia’s State Environment Service (VVD) performed a total of 4,665 fishing inspections within Latvia’s internal waters, VVD reports.
VVD inspected a total of 8,495 bodies of water in the country.
In spite of the country’s adopted measures adopted to limit the spread of Covid-19, the number of inspections performed in this area last year was slightly larger than the one observed in 2019, when VVD performed 4,644 fishing inspections.
To uncover violations and secure evidence, VVD uses modern methods – monitoring using drones, GPS navigation devices, thermal cameras and night-vision devices.
In 2020, VVD confiscated 2,083 illegal fishing equipment. This includes 1,891 fishing appliances left unattended, 180 left along the coast (including 123 left unattended), as well as 1,903 fishing appliances within Latvia’s internal bodies of water (1,768 fishing appliances left unattended).
Last year VVD made decisions on administrative penalties for 876 people. Fines applied reach a total amount of EUR 72,000. One criminal process was handed to State Police for commencement of prosecution.
In 86 cases VVD ordered perpetrators to compensate damages caused to Latvia’s fish resources worth nearly EUR 21,000.
Last year 54 public volunteer environment inspectors had participated in fishing inspections.
There are approximately 150,000 fishermen, 274 private and 244 commercial fishermen registered with VVD in Latvia. As for the coast and the sea, there are 941 private and 164 commercial private coastal and 33 commercial fishing companies that fish in Riga Gulf and Baltic Sea. There are also 4 far out commercial fishermen under monitoring by VVD.
Compliance with fishing regulations within administrative territories of Latvia is monitored by municipal police of respective administrative territories. (BNN/Business World Magazine)