a účinnost zákona č. 115/2000 Sb.
In the past, the Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) was almost driven to extinction in the Czech Republic.
Recently, otters have returned to their original habitats, particularly in fishpond areas. Today, the most serious problem is their illegal killing by fishermen who try to protect their properties and avoid damages by otters. Since 2000, fishpond-owners may claim compensation for otter damage from the government, under Act No. 115/2000 Gazette on Providing Compensation for Damages Caused by Selected Specially Protected Animals, as amended later. The main objective of the project presented in the article was to assess how fishermen perceive the Eurasian Otter on their fishponds or rivers, and how effectively they are able to use the above act to compensate damages to their properties. The sources of information for the study were derived from an extensive questionnaire survey. The data show there are significant damages to fish caused by otters, however, Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) and Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea) are said to cause even bigger losses of fish. Respondents from the management of big companies exhibited better knowledge of the environmental legislation than private owners of small fishponds. To date, mitigation measures to prevent predation on fish have been used very rarely. One third of the representatives of regional authorities have dealt with compensation claims for otter damages. These respondents did not perceive the compensation law as a sufficient tool and demanded additional measures. Most of the respondents were qualified to provide proper advice to fishermen in terms of protecting their ponds against otters. The results of the study indicate serious gaps in the Eurasian Otter conservation strategy and suggest areas into which the effort of management planning, public relations and environmental awareness campaigns should be targeted.