In 2018, fish farmers produced ca 14.3 million kilograms of food fish for sales, 92% of which were rainbow trout. In addition to rainbow trout, ca 0.8 million kilograms of European whitefish were produced in Finland. The production volumes of rainbow trout and European whitefish have remained unchanged in recent years. This is shown by the aquaculture statistics of the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
Approximately half the food fish cultivated in Finland has long been produced in the Åland Islands, and this was also the case last year. Åland accounted for nearly 60% of total food fish production in sea areas.
The value of food fish production was slightly lower than last year
The value of food fish production was estimated at 73.5 million euros, ca 8% less than last year. This was particularly affected by the decrease in the producer price for rainbow trout.
– Producers of rainbow trout were paid ca 50 cents less than last year. On the other hand, the producer price for cultivated European whitefish was slightly higher than last year, says researcher Leena Forsman from Luke.
Slight increase in recirculating water production
The eutrophication effect of fish farming on watercourses has decreased significantly as a result of the development of fish feeding and feed. According to Luke, the total load has decreased by ca 70% since the beginning of the 1990s. A new way to reduce the impact on watercourses is recycling water in a farming system. Last year, ca 0.6 million kilograms of food fish were produced in fish farming systems with a water recirculation system. Production grew slightly compared with last year.
Fry reared as usual
Fish fry is reared both for restocking in watercourses and for farming on other fish farms. Last year, ca 50 million fish fry were produced. Nearly 30 million fish fry were stocked in watercourses, and 20 million fish fry – mainly rainbow trout and European whitefish – were transferred to fish farms to be cultivated for consumption. A little over half the stocked fish were European whitefish fry. Newly hatched fry are not included in the figures.
Various fish species were produced for stocking purposes in the same volume as previous years, with the exception of landlocked salmon and trout fry. Compared with last year, the amount of landlocked salmon fry fell by half and the amount of freshwater trout fry fell by a quarter. The estimated total value of fry production was EUR 27 million.