Recreational fishing is one of the most popular sports. Almost one in three Finns has taken up fishing.

The number of recreational fishermen in Finland amounts to nearly 1.6 million. Of males, approximately 40% are recreational fishermen, while 20% of females go fishing. The number of fishermen has fallen over the course of the 2000s, but this trend now appears to have reversed. Recreational fishing is becoming more popular, particularly among those under 10 and over 45 years of age.

The combined annual catch of recreational fishing amounts to almost 30 million kilos. The most frequent catch comprises perch and pike.

Fishing with a hook and line is most popular, while fishing using a net has decreased

Most fishing days are spent on inland waters. The most popular fishing areas are the Finnish Lakeland and the Kainuu inland waters and, among maritime waters, the South West coastal areas. The most common fishing methods include fishing with a hook and line, ice fishing and spin fishing. While the proportion of net fishing is decreasing, it continues to yield most of the catch.

Recreational fishing plays an important role in providing people with healthy food. Around a half of all domestic fish used as food is caught by recreational fishermen.

Most Finnish enterprises in the fishing tourism sector are small.

Luke produces statistics and carries out social research

Luke compiles statistics on recreational fishing every second year. Furthermore, Luke explores issues related to salmon fishing on the river Tana and to recreational fishing in areas where the Saimaa ringed seal is found, and explores how fishing and the protection of the ringed seal might be reconciled.

Data on recreational fishing is required by decision makers taking decisions on national and regional level, on fishery and the recreational use of nature, as well as by owners responsible for the management of fishing waters and by fisheries regions, recreational fishermen and researchers.

Research results are required when developments in fishing and fish populations are being monitored, when the regional significance of recreational fishing is being assessed, or the consequences of regulation are being anticipated or followed up. Data is also needed when, for instance, the social significance of fishery or the impact of environmental changes on fishery and on the recreational use of nature are being assessed.

Photo at the top of the page: Plugi