Thursday, November 12, 2009

Something's Fishy in Estonia

Estonia hopes to exchange its cod quota for a sprat- and Baltic herring quota at Estonian-Latvian fishing talks due to begin Wednesday. Russian demand for sprat and Baltic herring is up, and there has been a lack of these fishes in the market. Estonia would like to increase its quota by trading to Latvia its quota on cod, which cannot be filled in any case, according to Tiit Kobakabene, Director of the Fish Department of Estonian Environment Ministry.
According to Kobakabene, cod cannot be caught because they are smart fish. "They see us coming," he says. "Latvian sprats on the other hand, practically jump into your boat." Kobakabene hopes that by making the exchange in the dark, the Latvians might not know what they've traded for. "Last year," he said, "we received Latvia's salmon quota certificates for a Mercedes hood ornament and three magic beans." When asked to comment, Latvian officials deny that actual magic beans changed hands in the swap a year ago, which took place in a dimly lit corridor of the Latvian Seamen Center.

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