Whitefish are found in all sea areas around Finland, and the whitefish populations along the coast are an important resource for both professional and recreational fishermen. Most of the whitefish caught are anadromous whitefish that swim up rivers to breed, and sea-spawning whitefish are caught less often these days.
The opportunities for anadromous whitefish spawning have been significantly reduced in most of the rivers along the coast due to human activity. In dammed rivers anadromous whitefish populations rely on compensatory stocking with one-summer-old fingerlings, but also scarce naturally reproducing populations are often supported by stocking.
The value of the whitefish caught by professional fishermen in the sea amounted to approximately EUR 2.7 million in 2013, and the figure for recreational fishing was approximately EUR 1.8 million the previous year. The value of the whitefish catch accounts for one third of the value of the total catch of professional fishermen along the coast, excluding herring, sprat and cod.
The Natural Resources Institute Finland monitors the status and fishing of anadromous and sea-spawning whitefish in the Gulf of Bothnia by means of beach seine sampling of whitefish fry on the coastal areas, catch samples both from the sea and rivers, and catch statistics. Data on whitefish have been collected since the 1980s. The data are used to issue recommendations on fishing and enhancement methods on different populations.