Hunting and fishing are among historical and traditional forms of utilisation
of natural resources in Slovakia, The high percentage of forested areas
and the features of the river network provide very favourable conditions
for the occurrence of numerous game and fish species. The traditional regulation
policies reflected the historical character of hunting and fishing activities.
Poaching has recently become one of the most serious problems.
In 1990, the total hunting area in Slovakia covered 4,4 mil. ha. The Slovak Hunter's Union is the largest organisation engaged in game management with 47,000 members. Land-owners have hunting rights.
Also, game may be caught and is exported to some Western European countries.
As a result of the forest and agricultural management practices applied in the past, the number of game in forests differs from that on agricultural land. While in forests selected game species, especially deer, are now overpopulated, the number of small game
in agricultural areas has decreased rapidly. For this reason different management approaches need to be applied in different areas.
|establish additional breeding stations for native game species and develop an efficient strategy in respect to their reintroduction;|
|promote stocking with native fish species and strengthening populations with maximum preservation of the self-regulation capacity, original structure and health;|
|strengthen existing regulatory measures in order to prevent excessive fish harvesting and game hunting;|
|maintain balanced game populations by taking into account the carrying capacity of ecosystems;|
|prevent poaching and illicit hunting;|
|The first law protecting and regulating breeding, keeping and catching
of fish was adopted in 1888. In 1957, the Slovak Fishing Union, an association
of citizens interested in the promotion of fishing, was established and
entrusted with the protection and regulation of sport fishing. In 1984,
the Union had 60,000 members and controlled the fishing rights over
more than 92% ot all water areas in Slovakia.
At present, there are some 2,000 ha of fish-ponds in Slovakia. The annual catch is 2,250 tons of fish.
Whereas the annual consumption is 4 to 5 kg of fish per inhabitant the greater part of this consumption consists of imported fish and fish products. From the commercial point of view, the share of fishing in natural streams ís rather low Their main importance is linked with sport and recreation fishing. In some fishing areas, however, excessive catch is normal.