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Fishing and ďŹ sh farming in Latvia move in different directions The Latvian ďŹ sheries sector, a term that encompasses capture ďŹ shing, aquaculture, and ďŹ sh processing, has seen several changes over the last few years. While the proďŹ tability of the ďŹ shing industry has increased, the decline in the number of ďŹ shermen and the number of ďŹ shing companies has continued. The processing sector is still wrestling with the consequences of the Russian ban on imports, but individual companies have had success with ďŹ nding alternative markets for its products. Production from aquaculture has increased slightly as more companies have come on to the market.

T

he fisheries and aquaculture sector in Latvia includes a wide range of fish-related activities. This diversity is reflected at retailers where the display at the fish counter of a big supermarket can contain a staggering variety of smoked, marinated, fresh, and salted products to say nothing of the cans, jars, trays, vacuum- and modified atmosphere packaged fish and seafood on the shelves. Annual consumption of fish and seafood in Latvia at 26.3 kg per capita (according EUROSTAT and EUMOFA,2015) is higher that the EU average and is based on products manufactured from locally caught fish as well as on imported raw material.

Fishing sector has well-defined fleets Latvian fishers operating in marine waters are classified into three groups: coastal fishers with vessels up to 12 m in length (a few

exceed this length) and who fish no more than 20 m from the coast in the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga; offshore fishermen who fish in the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga and whose vessels typically measure between 12 m and 40 m; and finally the high seas fishing fleet which operates primarily in the areas of CECAF (Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic), NAFO (Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization), and NEAFC (North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission). Vessels in this fleet segment are typically 40 m and above. Catches by the coastal fleet have hovered around 3,500 tonnes in total on average over the last five years. This is about 5 of the total (offshore + coastal) catch in the Gulf of Riga and the Baltic Sea by the Latvian fleet. According to the EU fleet register there are currently some 600 active vessels in the Latvian fleet up to 12 m.

Latvian fishing fleet Fleet segment

Latvian quotas in the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga, tonnes Year

Herring

Sprat

Cod

Salmon*

2010

23,095

52,565

5,018

38,783

2011

22,569

39,949

5,715

32,965

2012

18,630

31,160

6,564

16,153

2013

18,956

34,583

5,983

14,335

2014

22,650

32,080

6,745

9,049

2015

25,404

29,548

4,967

12,644

2016

23,712

27,990

3,973

12,644

2017

22,023

36,107

2,838

12,644

2018

21,966

36,289

2,627

12,012

*individuals Source: Ministry of Agriculture.

These target a number of species, of which the most important in volume terms is Gulf of Riga herring which is 75-80 of the total. Coastal fishers catch this with trap nets in the period from April to July, when the fish move to the coast to spawn. Other important species are flatfish (flounder,

2015 Total

Tonnage, GT

turbot), salmon, and cod. Herring, cod, sprat, and salmon are regulated by quotas. Small quantities (about 50 tonnes) each of vimba, bream, smelt, eelpout and perch are also caught. A proportion of the smallest coastal vessels are used for sustenance fishing, that is, the fishers catch

2016 Capacity, kW

Total

Tonnage, GT

2017 Capacity, kW

Total

Tonnage, GT

Capacity, kW

Fishing fleet in the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga:

63

7,103

18,403

57

6540

17091

55

6218

17067

Of which, trawlers 12-24 m

12

535

2,424

12

535

2424

11

331

2091

trawlers > 24 m

44

5,960

14,568

43

5854

14226

42

5736

14535

vessels using net as main gear > 24 m

7

608

1,411

2

151

441

2

151

441

Fishing fleet in coastal area High seas Total

612

735

4,442

610

733

4444

609

734

4460

11

16,838

20,455

12

21245

25607

11

20440

26115

686

24,676

43,300

679

28518

47142

675

27392

47642

Source: Ministry of Agriculture

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Profile for Eurofish

Eurofish Magazine 5 2018  

Featuring Latvia's positive trends in fishing, canning and aquaculture sectors this issue also looks at certification labels in the trade an...

Eurofish Magazine 5 2018  

Featuring Latvia's positive trends in fishing, canning and aquaculture sectors this issue also looks at certification labels in the trade an...

Profile for eurofish