Fisheries Areas Network

Good Practice Short Story

Revamped shop brings fish processing to Estonian island

A coastal fisherman in Western Estonia has redeveloped his fish shop, allowing fresh fish to be processed locally for the first time, while also creating jobs.
“The support from Hiiukala FLAG, FARNET and the EMFF was crucial to implement this project… The fresh fish market was unstable and the demand for processed fish unpredictable before. Thanks to the new facilities built, we are now able to process local fresh fish and to sell these products to the local community and visitors. It is also a very good example of local job creation, diversifying activities and closing loop from coastal fish catch to the table of the end-consumer.”
Imre Kivi, Director of Stonefish OÜ

With independence from the Soviet Union came the opportunity for the island of Hiiumaa to make the most of its fishing tradition, with new fleets, ports, gillnet making and the Kärdla fish market. However, the sale of fresh fish gradually declined as processed fish became more popular with customers. The fish market facilities lacked visibility and were too small to accommodate processing so all processed fish was imported from the mainland or abroad.

Imre Kivi is a local fisherman and the Director of a company called Stonefish. He had owned a small fish shop in the Kärdla fish market for 17 years and it seemed like a logical idea to Imre to create a new facility for processing – including smoking – fish and selling fish fillets.

He turned to the Hiiukala FLAG for information on loan options and EMFF funding. With a grant from the FLAG, Imre opened new premises located on the island’s main entry road, easily accessed by tourists. The project was implemented in four stages, including a café corner selling fish soup and smoked salmon in part of the new building. Five members of staff work there year-round and extra staff are hired during the holiday season. In addition, study tours for Scandinavian fishermen in the new facilities introduce them to the local practices in fish processing, while a gillnet making workshop is allowing local fishermen and their relatives to diversify their activities.



Budget €358 000
EU contribution €170 250
  • EMFF: €170 250
Other public contribution €56 750
  • National: €56 750
Private contribution €131 000




Stonefish OÜ


Contact details

FLAG Contacts

Ms. Tuuli Tammla
+372 5694 1855

Organisation Contacts

Stonefish OÜ
Mr. Imre Kivi
00372 5135680
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