In 2020, fish farmers produced approximately 15 million kilograms of food fish for sale. The value this production was EUR 63 million, which was EUR 7 million lower than in 2019. The reduction in the value of production can be attributed to such factors as the lowered price of rainbow trout and lower production volume of European whitefish. This is shown by the aquaculture statistics of the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
The production of rainbow trout totalled 14.3 million kilograms, i.e. approximately the same amount as in the previous year. This amounts to 95 percent of all cultivated fish production in Finland. European whitefish farming yielded 0.6 million kilograms, which is 25 percent less than in the previous year. This has a slight impact on the total value of aquaculture production, because the producer price of European whitefish is significantly higher than that of rainbow trout.
Slight increase in inland water production
The majority of rainbow trout is farmed at sea, but a significant amount is also produced in inland fish farms. In 2020, the amount of rainbow trout farmed for sale at sea totalled 11.8 million kilograms, while the corresponding amount for inland farms was 3.2 million kilograms. In European whitefish production, the share of sea farming was one third higher than that of inland farming.
The amount of food fish cultivated for sale at sea was six percent lower than in the previous year, while inland production increased by approximately 15 percent. Inland water production has increased by nearly one third since 2017.
Åland remains the leading region in cultivated fish production
Nearly one half – 44 percent – of cultivated food fish was produced in Åland. The share of mainland Finland increased by a few percent from the previous year. The region of Southwest Finland accounted for one third and Åland for 56 percent in the production of food fish at sea. In inland Finland, fish farming concentrated in the regions of Kainuu, Lapland, Savonia and Central Finland.
Fry for natural waters and further cultivation
To improve the fish stocks in our water systems, fry are stocked in natural waters. In 2020, farmers producing fry in natural nutrition ponds, as well as other fish fry producers reared approximately 28 million juveniles to be restocked in natural waters and approximately 21 juveniles – mainly rainbow trout – for further cultivation in other fish farms. Newly hatched fry are not included in the figures. In total, the amount of fish fry produced was nearly the same as in the previous year.
Most of the fry produced for restocking were European whitefish, although their amount decreased slightly from the previous year. European whitefish fry are usually released to the restocking destination when they are one summer old. The same applies to pikeperch, which was the second most commonly restocked fry species. Salmon and trout are released for restocking at a higher age. In 2020, the total volume of fry produced for restocking in natural waters was approximately two million for salmon and approximately 1.8 million for trout. In addition, smaller volumes of grayling, arctic char and pike fry were produced for restocking in natural waters.
Background to the statistics
The aquaculture statistics are published annually by the end of June of the year following the statistical year. The fish volumes presented in the statistics refer to uncleaned fish. The volumes are based on information provided by fish farmers. A total of 98% of the farmers to whom the survey was submitted replied it.
Photo: Markus Kankainen, Luke.