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FLAG factsheet - Estonia - Lake Võrtsjärv

Offical name: 
MTÜ Võrtsjärve Kalanduspiirkond
Viljandi, Tartu and Valga county
Lake Võrtsjärv
Click to enlarge
Description of the area and its main challenges

Covering 270 km² and with a catchment area of 3 374 km², Lake Võrtsjärv, in South Estonia, is the second largest lake in Baltic countries and the largest lake within the boundaries of Estonia (Lake Peipsi is bigger but extends into Russia). It is a shallow and turbid eutrophic lake with an average depth of 2.8 m and maximum depth of 6 m. The water level fluctuates significantly (on average by 1.4 m per year) and this, together with the winds, is the main factor influencing the biota in the lake. The aim of the Lake Võrtsjärv Fisheries Development Agency (FDA) is to promote the sustainable development of Lake Võrtsjärv fishing area. 

Population: 18 000 Employment in fisheries: 110*

Surface area/km²: (of the area) Coastal or inland: inland

Population Density/ Inhabitants/ km²: 6.7 Protected areas: Natura 2000

* 45 permit owners and 65 professional fishermen  

Main focus of FLAG strategy

- To foster local initiative in the region, especially initiative within the fishery sector;

- To promote the cooperation between public, private and non-profit sector and between other organisations in Estonia and in Europe;

- To participate in international, national and regional fisheries development projects and events.                                                                                                                             

Environmental Management (1-5, where 5 is high priority and 1 is low priority) : 4

Improving the competitiveness of the fisheries sector (1-5) : 5  

Diversification into other activities (1-5) :

Project examples and ideas

- Training for local entrepreneurs 

- Developing tourism in coastal areas

- Promotion of marketing activities for fishery products.

- Developing a recreation area


Lead Partner/Responsible Legal Entity:  Lake Võrtsjärv Fisheries Development Agency

Other key actors/organisations in the partnership: Lake Võrtsjärv Foundation, Rural Economy Reaserch Centre, The Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board etc.

Links with LEADER: Close contacts with the Leader group in the lake Võrtsjärv region          

% of public actors : 15

% of fisheries actors : 70

% of other (non-fisheries) private / NGO sector actors : 15

% of environmental actors :           

Number of individuals/organisations in partnership : 35

Number of individuals on main decision-making body : 5

Number of contracted staff in FLAG : 3


Total public funding 2007-2013 : € 1 148 580

EFF : €    861 435.75

Other public : €   287 145 (national) + approx € 5000 from municipality´s membership fees

Private : €  14 500 (approx) from membership fees (entrepreneurs, NGOs, municipalities)

FLAG Manager: 
Jaanika Kaljuvee
Lake Võrtsjärv Fisheries Develompment Agency, Jõesuu village, Kolga-Jaani community, Viljandi county, ESTONIA
jaanika ( at )
+372 52 98 561
+372 7 356 084
Languages spoken: 
Estonian, English