The Natural Resources Institute Finland studies the status of the most economically important species of fish and factors affecting them. The information is needed for managing fish populations, such as when the EU’s agriculture and fisheries ministries make decisions about fishing quotas and when the need for other regulation is being evaluated in fishing zones, for example.

Estimates of Baltic herring, sprat, cod, and salmon populations are drawn up by evaluation committees of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). The Natural Resources Institute Finland also studies the status of brown trout, whitefish, zander, and perch, and collects information on the status of Finnish vendace populations.

EU legislation obliges Finland to gather detailed data on the Finnish fishery industry. The EU programme for fisheries data collection seeks to gather biological, economic, and statistical data on fisheries to support the Common Fisheries Policy. The information is used, for example, as the basis for the fishing quota decisions of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). The EU’s data collection programme produces valuable information, which is used as the basis for the majority of marine research projects.

The EU programme for fisheries data collection is governed by Regulation (EC) No 199/2008. Detailed regulations, specifications, and requirements are laid down in Commission Regulation (EC) No 665/2008 and Commission Decision No 2010/93/EU.