The Suomen Vapaa-ajankalastajien Keskusjärjestö (SVK), Finnish Federation for Recreational Fishing
, was founded in 2000. It gathers 480 fishing, wilderness or sport fishing clubs throughout the country, which speak for the 1,5 million Finns (out of a population of 5,5 million) who go fishing at least once a year!
FFRF’s main goal is the promotion of a responsible recreational fishing, which uses naturally renewable fish stocks in a sustainable and diverse way. The Federation aims at implementing a genuine ecologically conscious fishing culture to preserve the country’s nature to pass on to the next generation.
In this context, it encourages fishermen to make a polyvalent use of naturally increasing fish stocks and practical fishing water management. In recent years, they have made a special effort to improve the reproductive conditions of spring-spawning fish, especially pike and perch. As a matter of facts, FFRF defends the implementation of artificial small-scale wetlands, called ‘Pike factory projects
’. Its objectives are to reduce the adverse effects of eutrophication by generating a breeding area that would create new spawning grounds for fish and to rehabilitate old ones. According to a follow-up study funded by BalticSea2020
, preliminary results show that the number of adult pike has as much as doubled in areas close to a pike wetland as compared to reference areas.
In the end, it should not come as a surprise that recreational fishing remains ones of the most popular sports in Finland, with, one out three Finns going fishing every year. This success is mainly due to two inter-linked reasons. On the one hand, Finland, the ‘Land of a Thousand Lakes’, harbours unique natural conditions that allow for a variety of fishing methods: from fishing with a hook and line to ice fishing to spin fishing. On the other hand, it is made possible by the easiness to obtain a fishing permit and to enjoy it all year long!
(c) Photo credit: Jaana Vetikko