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Tapio Hakaste: Salmon!

Tapio Hakaste | 28.07.2015

It provides experiences and bread in different ways.  It provokes opinions: Are they many or few, who are allowed to fish them and how to turn them into delicious food.

From time to time, discussion on salmon has been heated in Finland, incuding the Finnish Parliament.  The salmon and sea trout strategy was completed in autumn 2014. It was prepared by a large group of stakeholders – from north to south, from professional fishers to tourism entrepreneurs.

The strategy aims at well and healthy salmon and sea trout stocks by 2020. The objective is to provide healthy lifestyle and experiences with salmon fishing for many Finns as well as sustainably caught domestic salmon to food stores for happy consumers to buy.  From the early stages, it became evident that sea trout - ”salmon’s little brother” - should also be included in the process. 

The strategy was drawn up as a result of team work and comprises measures considered important and supported by various parties. In most cases, comments on the finished strategy were that a good compromise had been reached in a difficult issue.  Still, there are lots of varied views and opinions when salmon is concerned. 

A central issue is sustainable fishing. Salmon and sea trout must be caught in such a way that a sufficient number of female fish find their way to their home rivers to breed.  For this purpose, objectives have been set for the number of female salmon and sea trout.  As far as salmon is concerned, the trend has been distinctly positive; in the Tornionjoki and Muonionjoki Rivers, for example, the situation looks excellent.  Instead, the fishing of sea trout should be reduced. 

The salmon strategy has been published on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The strategy provides the basis for Finnish stands and opinions in our international cooperation. The new Fishing Act that will come into force at the beginning of 2016 and the Fishing Decree to be amended are important tools in the implementation of the strategy. The strategy includes a number of measures, presenting a major challenge but the work is well underway. A monitoring group has also been set up to follow the implementation of the fish passage strategy. 

Have a delicious summer with salmon!

Tapio Hakaste
Secretary to the monitoring group
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 

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