Kuldīga wages tech war against fish poachers

River Venta has high water levels this autumn, providing favorable conditions for salmon – and for poachers. The municipality of Kuldīga has installed surveillance cameras but poachers have also equipped themselves with thermal cameras and drones that allow them to record the approaching of inspectors, Latvian Radio reported October 31.

Kuldīga municipal Police Chief Kaspars Šabāns shows a video of some illegally placed gear where more than a hundred lampreys are caught. Keeping fish safe near Kuldīga has improved significantly. It could be said that thanks to CCTV footage, the salmon and lamprey poaching issue at Kuldīga has almost been eradicated.

The CCTV system in Kuldīga is planned to be supplemented by another thermal camera as a viewing tower is being built near the Venta, which is already nearly complete, the local police chief explained.

Salmon spawn has favorable conditions this year. The current is good, and the water level is high, said Jānis Sprugevics, chief inspector of the Fishing Control Division of the Regional Environmental Board of Kurzeme. Salmon appears as early as August, when rivers are also starting to be monitored. He believes that the installation of video cameras is a very important assistant in the salmon protection process.

“There was once a formulation that Kuldīga is the capital of poachers, because nowhere in Latvia is there any territory where there are so many salmon spawning sites. If these projects, which the City Council has planned, come to fruition, then the whole area of the city where salmon spawning sites are located will be viewable on screen, it will help very much,“ he said.

Not only are inspectors alert – poachers have also upped their technique.

"Not only does the environmental service have technical resources, but the poachers also have thermal cameras and drones, just like we watch them, they watch us, [..],” said Viesturs Cimermanis, senior inspector of the Fishing Control Division.

In total, in Latvia from October 1 to 24, the fishing control inspectors of the State Environmental Service performed 80 inspections during which six administrative violation cases have been initiated, four of which are regarding violations of industrial fishing, and two regarding non-compliance with fishing regulations. In Latvia, the limitation period for the catching of salmon and trout in inland waters will run until December 31.

Seen a mistake?

Select text and press Ctrl+Enter to send a suggested correction to the editor

Select text and press Report a mistake to send a suggested correction to the editor

Related articles


Most important