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The President of the Republic addressed a fisheries policy conference

President Arnold Rüütel today in Tallinn opened a high-level conference ''The Impact of the EU Fisheries Policy on Estonia'' where also EU Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Joe Borg, Minister of Agriculture Ester Tuiksoo, Minister of Environment Villu Reiljan and representatives of Estonian fisheries made presentations.

Opening the conference, the President of the Republic said that Estonian fishermen, especially coastal fishermen, have lived through very difficult times during the last fifteen years. ''Besides uncertainty caused by quick changes, also stocks of main catchable fish have shrunk. As a result of that Estonian fishing fleet has overcapacity, ships, infrastructure and facilities of fishing ports have become outdated, and fishing industry is suffering from underfinancing. Therefore, financial support of the European Union to Estonian fisheries is very welcome,'' the Head of State said.

In his speech the President of the Republic highlighted the importance of fish farming. ''In the circumstances where fish resources are shrinking, investments into aquaculture and repopulation of water bodies with the help of the EU is a good opportunity. This will increase the stocks of highly demanded valuable species of fish,'' the Head of State said.

In the words of President Rüütel, while using the EU offered development opportunities, it is necessary to take into account also national peculiarities in implementation of common fisheries policy. ''Setting common goals, and efficiently cooperating in achieving the objectives, we have to take care also for preservation of coastal fishing, continuation of economic development, and enhancement of living standard of fishery producers,'' the President of the Republic said.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, June 27, 2005

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