Recreational fishermen caught less than one-third of their total catch by using gillnets in 2018, while gillnet fishing accounted for as much as half of the total catch in 2000. Fish caught by using a spinning rod or by trolling accounted for a total of 38%. Recreational fishermen caught 12% of the total catch by using a jig and 7% by using a rod and line.
The catch made by recreational fishermen decreased by one quarter compared with 2016 when the previous statistics of recreational fishing were compiled. Catches decreased regarding nearly all species. European whitefish and pike combined continued to make up more than half of the total catch, while pikeperch accounted for 15%.
“The popularity of active ways to catch fish has increased and that of gillnets has decreased. A traditional rod and line and a spinning rod remained the most popular fishing gear,” says Pentti Moilanen, senior statistician at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
Roughly the same number of recreational fishermen as in previous years
In 2018, Finland had 1.5 million recreational fishermen, nearly as many as two years before. Of the Finnish population, more than one in four is engaged in recreational fishing: more than one-third of men and nearly 20% of women.
The most recent estimates of the number of recreational fishermen have varied between slightly below 1.5 million and 1.6 million. Of all recreational fishermen, every one in three is a woman.
“The number of fishermen has decreased by a quarter from the roughly two million at the beginning of the 2000s,” Moilanen says.
Information about the statistics
The information is based on a survey with a sampling of 7,500 people living in various parts of Finland, whose names were obtained from the Population Register. A survey was mailed to them at the beginning of the year. In addition, some of those who failed to respond to the survey were interviewed by telephone.
The expanding data content of the statistics of recreational fishing is available in the statistical database.