The commercial inland fishery catch totalled 5.2 million kilos in 2018. In 2017, the total catch was 6.5 million kilos. The decrease in the total catch was mainly due to the decrease in the volume of vendace caught by seining. The crayfish catch totalled just under 600,000 crayfish, of which almost all were signal crayfish. The total value of the catch, EUR 14.7 million, was nearly the same as in the previous year.
This information is shown by the statistics of commercial inland fishery in 2018 of the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
– The pikeperch catch slightly increased from the record numbers achieved in the previous years. The total catch of vendace caught by seining decreased compared with the previous year. This is likely partly due to the natural variation in the vendace population, but poor ice conditions and slush accumulating under the ice cover also impeded winter seining in Eastern Finland and Satakunta last year. The volume of vendace caught by trawling did not decrease at all, says Mika Rahikainen, senior statistician at Luke.
Pikeperch catching up with vendace
Vendace continues to be the most important inland species measured by both volume and value. However, the value of the pikeperch catch has increased close to the value of vendace. The value of the vendace catch was EUR 5.8 million, while the value of the pikeperch catch reached EUR 4.8 million. Combined, these two species accounted for three quarters of the total value of the commercial inland fish catch. Catch value is calculated by multiplying the price (VAT 0) received by the fishermen by the catch volume.
European whitefish was the third most valuable inland species, while in the last two years, it was signal crayfish. The total value of the European whitefish catch was EUR 0.8 million. In two years, the value has increased by 60%. The value of the roach catch was higher than the value of the pike or perch catches. The value of the trout and landlocked salmon catch accounted for around 0.5% of the total inland fishery catch.
The value and volume of the crayfish catch clearly decreased compared with the two previous years. Particularly the noble crayfish catch experienced a major decrease. This may reflect a decrease in the population size of this highly endangered species and weakness of the remaining stocks. Last year, noble crayfish only accounted for three per cent of the total crayfish catch. In the case of signal crayfish, the decrease in the catch volume was more likely due to market-related factors than a decrease in the crayfish population.
The number of registered commercial fishermen continued to grow — only part of them were active fishermen
The statistics of commercial inland fishery is based on register data collected by Luke.
In 2018, the register of commercial fishermen maintained by the ELY Centre included 1,935 commercial fishermen. The number has increased by around 10% from 2017. However, many fishermen were not engaging in any fishing activities, and many caught small catches.
Following the amended Fishing Act, which entered into force at the beginning of 2016, all persons catching fish in inland waters for the purposes of sale must be listed in the register maintained by the ELY Centre for Southwest Finland, maintain a fishing journal, and report their catches to Luke at least once per calendar year.
In addition, the Act on Implementing the Common Fisheries Policy of the European Union (1048/2016), which entered into force on 12 December 2016, obligates that all vessels and boats used in commercial fishing activities must be registered.
For more detailed information about the statistics, please visit stat.luke.fi. The statistical database includes information about catches since 1962.