Case Study: Klaipėda Region, Lithuania

The case study area is divided in three sub-cases, providing a large variety of offers for coastal anglers. Introducing sustainable development to the coastal angling tourism sector can provide even greater benefits on the long run.

Location of study sites: The Lithuanian Baltic Sea along the coastline can be up to 20 m deep. In the northern part of the study area, the seabed is mainly composed out of rocks in combination with sand. The southern part has a more homogenous sand-dominated seabed structure. The northern part of the study area is under strong influence of a freshwater flow from the Curonian Lagoon towards the Baltic Sea.

The Curonian Lagoon is a freshwater lagoon of the south-eastern part of the Baltic Sea with a basin of a straight triangle. The narrow Curonian Spit separates the Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. The length of the coastline of the Lagoon in Lithuanian territory is about 413 km. The rest of the Lagoon is located in the territory of the Russian Federation. The lagoon is very shallow with an average depth of 3.8 m. The northernmost part of the Curonian Lagoon, which is up to 14 m deep and just 0.4 km wide, has been strongly transformed by industrial activities.

The Nemunas River provides the main water inflow into the Curonian lagoon, which discharges to the Baltic Sea. The Nemunas Delta, with a maze of river branches, canals, polders and wetlands is protected as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar convention and as a regional park. The delta is highly important for the migrating and breeding fish and birds.

Target fish species:

  • Lithuanian Baltic Sea: cod, salmon, Baltic herring, round goby, flounder, garfish, brown trout, smelt and turbot.
  • Curonian Lagoon: perch, roach, smelt, pikeperch, bream, burbot, pike, prussian carp.
  • Lower reaches of Nemunas: bream, roach, perch, pike, silver bream, pikeperch, rudd, tench, chub, vimba, smelt, burbot, catfish, asp, very rarely – salmon and brown trout.

Main angling season: The main angling season differs according to fish species, but also depends on the region within the case study area. Thus, the study area provides all year round angling opportunities.

Kinds of angling: The Klaipėda region offers a variety of angling methods, ranging from spin fishing, trolling, float fishing, ledgering and fishing with floating handlines from a boat to methods of shore fishing, such as spin fishing, fly fishing and float fishing. One can also go ice fishing in the winter using angling spoons/flies, fishing jigs or mugs (tip-up fishing).

Target group (customers): The customers of coastal angling in the Klaipėda region are residents and tourists who are travelling for angling purposes or visiting the area for other reasons, but make use of angling as one of their leisure activities. The region attracts anglers of all ages (main target group: 14–65 years old).

Available infrastructure: Tourism information centres, common accommodation, restaurants, recreational fishing services, boat rental, recreational fishing providers, angling shops and fishing guides.

Development of angling tourism: In the past the study area was well known for its fishing villages and agriculture. Nowadays the hospitality business rules the area. Nevertheless, due to the lack of data, the development of coastal angling tourism in the study area was not recorded.

Points of sustainability:

  • Closed seasons for the Curonian Spit (and Nemunas Delta regional park waters) were established according to the rules for internal fishing for pike, pikeperch, asp, burbot, catfish and bream, as well as noodle and narrow-clawed crayfish. In the Lithuanian Baltic Sea, closed seasons were established according to the rules for amateur angling of turbot and European whitefish. Furthermore, fishing in marine waters is limited.
  • The new development of the area as a place for recreational tourism shows ambitions to maintain the historical aspects. Hence, there are various cultural events related to recreational fishing, bringing the local communities together. Several locals and stakeholders in the case study area participate in a range of activities and projects related to angling, traditional fish dishes and others.
  • Angling tourism helps to diversify the supply chain and adds all-season business opportunities for the local community. A project supporting fisheries to retrain recreational angling providers was conducted in the area.

Known problems: Due to the lack of data on angling tourism in the Klaipeda region, a range of problems may exist, but have not been recorded. However, conflicts between commercial fisheries and recreational fishing are common issues.

Marketing slogan: None (in progress)

Website: None

Contact: Antanas Kontautas, Antanas.Kontautas@ku.lt, Klaipėda University
Eglė Mikšiūnaitė, projects@visitneringa.lt, Nida Culture and Tourism Information Centre

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