Fishery catch

Updated: 4 Dec 2018
Next update: 11 Dec 2019

The commercial total fish catch indicates the economic exploitation level of Finnish fish resources. In addition to the commercial fishing, the recreation fishing makes good use of the fish resources in Finland. The catch statistics are needed for instance for the fish stock assessment. The results of stock assessment create the information basis for the negotiations of the Baltic Sea fish resource utilization and the catch quotas between the Baltic Sea states.

The commercial fish catch statistics are compiled annually. The information is based on the catch reports that the fishermen are obligated to submit to the fisheries control authorities. For the commercial inland fishing as well as for the recreational fishing, the statistics are compiled biennially, based on a survey research.


Commercial fish catch has been in a level of 150 000 tons

During the last 38 years, the catch of Finnish commercial fishermen has varied between 63 000 and 163 000 tons. Today the annual catch is in the level of 120 - 160 000 tons. The major part of the Finnish total catch, around 95%, is caught from the sea. The annual average commercial inland water catch has been about 5 - 6 000 tons.

About 90-95% of the commercial marine catch consists of Baltic herring and sprat. The catch level of Baltic herring and sprat is regulated by the catch quota. Besides the quotas, the catch level is affected by the market demand. The biggest part of herring and sprat landings are utilized in fur farming industry as fodder. In 1991, the commercial catch was down to a record low. This was an reflection of the slump in fur industry. In 2017, the annual catch of commercial fishing was 161 million kg.

Half of the commercial inland water catch consist of vendace (Coregonus albula) . The stock levels of vendace are highly fluctuating, which could be seen in the corresponding catches too. Although the total vendace catch is only about two percent of the total commercial catch, the value of the vendace catch is the second highest of all the species.