This article is part of a series dedicated to the presentation of angling associations across Europe. For this article, we introduce the EAA member from Finland: Suomen Vapaa-ajankalastajien Keskusjärjestö (SVK), the Finnish Federation for Recreational Fishing (FFRF).
The 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