The transition process from the Soviet economical system to the market economy in fisheries has received
relatively little attention from fisheries researchers. This study analyze how overall changes in political and economical life
of Estonia during the last decade have affected the complex system of the environmental, economic, social and legal issues
connected to the coastal fishery of the Baltic Sea. At the beginning of the nineties the possibility to export fish to the
European market appeared. Opening of this new and highly profitable market outlet resulted in rapidly increasing pressure to
the fish resources, both in terms of the number of fishermen and in their effort. Some of the most important coastal fishery
resources have been over-fished because of high export market demand coupled with insufficient resource management, and
not effective enough control and enforcement capacity. The costs connected to fishery have grown much more than the first
buyer prices. Additionally, dynamic development of the Estonian economy has yielded in substantial increase of wages in
other sectors of economy and therefore the well-being of fishermen has steadily worsened. This has resulted in increasing
social problems. The conclusion is that countries in transition may encounter serious difficulties in the fishery sector arising
from privatization and rearrangement of financial system, which may affect the fishery even years after the establishment of
new ruling principles.
Vetemaa, M. et al. Collapse of Political and Economical System as a Cause for Instability in Fisheries Sector: An Estonian Case. In: Microbehavior and Macroresults:Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute ofFisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA.Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. InternationalInstitute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.