Besides fishing also many other factors relating to human activity affect fish populations and the status of waters. The Natural Resources Institute Finland produces a wide range of inventory and research data on the status and restoration of fishing waters and fish stocks. The aim is to promote the sustainable use of fish resources.

The most important monitoring obligations are based on the EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive and Water Framework Directive. The majority of the data needed for fish inventories under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive are gathered through the EU’s data collection programme. Fish inventories under the Water Framework Directive are carried out in lakes and rivers. The Natural Resources Institute Finland’s statutory duties also include contributing to the national planning and implementation of sea and water management on the basis of the aforementioned Directives. Continuous development of methodology through international cooperation is an integral part of the work.

In addition to inventories, the Natural Resources Institute Finland also carries out research on the status and restoration of fish stocks and fishing waters. The new Fishing Act stipulates that fish resources must be used in a sustainable manner and that fishing must not jeopardise the natural reproduction of fish or biodiversity. The restoration of altered rivers is an important area of research. The aim is to find solutions for reviving the natural reproduction of migratory fish. Other current research topics include the management of fish populations in eutrophic lakes and inventories of fish reproduction grounds, resource-efficient use of waters, and taking these factors into account in marine and coastal spatial planning.

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