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Salmon 2014 campaign begins

2014-09-01

The campaign called Salmon 2014 starts on the 1st of September to continue until the 20th of November. It aims to ensure protection for salmon and sea trout migration routes and spawning.

“We call the whole fishing community to act responsibly and are reminding once again of the rules that should be observed when fishing salmons. As part of the campaign, we will run raids and will watch and check how these rules are followed, and we invite everyone, fishermen in particular, to keep an eye on the environment and respond to potential violations. Benevolent mutual control within the fishing community is a good preventive measure. So we are urging fishermen to enquire whether people who are fishing salmons nearby have cards and to show these cards to others, when asked," the Vice-minister for Environment, Linas Jonušauskas, said.

Key campaign sites include the littoral zone of the Baltic Sea, the Curonian Lagoon, the Nemunas delta region, rivers Nemunas, Dubysa, Neris, Žeimena, Šventoji, Siesartis and Vilnelė and their tributaries as well as the adjacent access roads. The campaign will run in two phases: in the littoral zone of the Baltic Sea, the Curonian Lagoon, the Nemunas delta region and river Nemunas between the 1st of September and the 20th of October and in rivers Nemunas, Dubysa, Neris, Žeimena, Šventoji, Siesartis and Vilnelė and their tributaries between the 1st of October and the 20th of November.

Salmon has probably been the most valued fish in our rivers and in the Baltic Sea since ancient times. Its resources in Lithuania began shrinking significantly in the 1950-ies. In the 1970’s salmon was already included in the Lithuanian Red List. For this reason there has been growing concern with restoring the resources of this, often called royal, fish.

Every year, Salmoniformes (salmon-like fish) migrate from the sea to the rivers to spawn. They have to cover hundreds of kilometres to reach their spawning sites. Poachers are the greatest obstacle to restoring the resources of wild salmon as they catch the fish that migrate to spawn. They disrupt the voyage of salmons which have covered more than 300 km to give birth to the next generation in the shoals of their native river. This was the reason behind the Salmon campaign initiated by environmentalists to protect the migration routes and spawning sites of salmon-like fish.

As part of the campaign, there will be regular raids and checks at the migration and spawning sites of salmon and sea trout, controls on commercial, amateur and special fishing and, if need be, stopping and checking the vehicles of suspected offenders. Environmentalists will use advanced site monitoring, video recording and other kinds of technology.

Environmental officers will be assisted by the police and border control staff.

Those willing to catch salmon-like fish must buy an amateur fishing card at dedicated sites, for a LTL 10 daily rate. Cards are available via the electronic environmental permits information system ALIS http://alis.am.lt and from Perlas terminals.

Environmentalists remind that fishing of salmon and sea trout of at least 65 cm in length is allowed. Catching only one salmon or sea trout is permitted during a single fishing episode. Once a salmon or a sea trout is caught, the marked part of the fishing card must be torn off in five minutes and such a card is no longer valid. If a fisherman has obtained just this card and has no amateur fishing ID, he is no longer allowed to catch not only salmons but also other fish, while between the 16th of September and the 15th of October, fishing without amateur fishing IDs or a free-of-charge fishing authorisation is prohibited in the river sections listed in Annex 3 to the Rules for amateur fishing in inland water bodies. In addition, there is a requirement to send a report to the e-mail address info@am.lt or fax it to (8-5) 266 2707 or provide it via ALIS (if the amateur fishing card was acquired through ALIS) within 10 days indicating the date of fishing, the river section where a salmon or a sea trout was caught, weight, length and gender of the fish caught and other information. Fishing salmon and sea trout is allowed only at a specific time and in specific river sections. When carrying a caught salmon or sea trout, one must have a document testifying to their lawful acquisition – an amateur fishing card for fishing salmon and sea trout. Selling caught salmon or sea trout is prohibited.

Unlawful catch of a salmon or a sea trout is subject to administrative liability – a fine between LTL 800 and LTL 2,000 with a confiscation of the instruments (e.g. spinning, net or fish-fork) and means (e.g. boat) that were used to commit a violation.

In addition, the offender must compensate for the damage caused to fish resources. E.g. one will be charged more than LTL 2,000 per unlawfully caught salmon or sea trout. If this fish is unlawfully caught in an ichthyological reserve or reservation, a triple basic rate for calculating damage to the fish resources applies, which means the offender would be charged over LTL 6,000 per salmon.

On noticing cases of poaching, the community is called to respond the report them immediately to the general emergency number 112.

Public information division
01/09/2014


Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas