There are several established populations of southern zander along the coasts of the Archipelago Sea and the Gulf of Finland. Northern perch populations have grown thanks to warmer summers and a decrease in drainage from the acidic soil along the coast of Ostrobothnia.
Since the turn of the millennium, large numbers of zander have in some years been caught in the Gulf of Bothnia as far north as Vaasa. The zander caught in coastal waters are mostly between four and eight years old. The number of fish born each year varies, which is why there is also considerable variation in the catch sizes in different years, as well as regional differences.
Since 2008, professional zander catches along the coast have varied between 300 and 500 tonnes per year, which is close to the long-term average (1980–2014). Recreational fishermen catch approximately the same amount of zander as professional fishermen.
Growing perch populations
Perch abounds all along the Finnish coastline. The total professional perch catch in coastal waters in 2014 was the highest since inventories began in 1980. According to catch statistics, the amount of perch caught by recreational fishermen has dropped since the mid-2000s both in inland waters and along the coast. Recreational fishermen catch many times more perch than professional fishermen.
Zander and perch fishing along the coast, as well as other fish caught in the process, are monitored as part of the EU-level data collection programme funded by the European Commission, which is aimed at harmonising the fishing monitoring practices of EU Member States in sea areas.