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Gillnet fishing on the wane

Published : 14 Nov 2019, 01:26

Updated : 14 Nov 2019, 10:42

  DF Report

Photo VisitFinland by Riku Pihlanto.

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 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, said a press release of the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

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,” said Pentti Moilanen, a senior statistician at Luke.

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 said.