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Finland and Norway negotiate on very strong restrictions on salmon fishing in River Tenojoki (Tana) next summer due to extremely poor stock status

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Publication date 25.3.2021 15.14 | Published in English on 25.3.2021 at 15.31
Press release
Kuva: Jaakko Vähämäki

The negotiations between Finland and Norway on fishing restrictions concerning the River Tenojoki (Tana) have been delayed due to recent reports about the rapid decline in the status of salmon stocks in the river in the past few years. Based on sonar count data, only a little more than 14,000 salmon rose to spawn in the river last summer. This was less than a half of the number of salmon in 2018, which was not very high, either.

The ministers of Norway and Finland negotiated on the status of the River Tenojoki (Tana) salmon stocks on 26 February. After the negotiations, Norway sent a proposal concerning the restrictions to Finland. According to this, the river would be completely closed to salmon fishing during this year’s fishing season due to the poor status of the salmon stocks. The total ban would apply to the border section of the Tana. In addition, the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment will ban fishing in the Norwegian tributaries and lower Norwegian part of the river. The Norwegian Environment Agency has also sent on hearing a proposal to ban the fishing of Tana salmon in the Tanafjord and outer coast of Norway in four municipalities (Nordkapp, Lebesby, Gamvik and Berlevåg). The proposal covers a very large area that in practice comprises all areas from which Tana salmon is being caught. Fishing for other species would largely continue as before.

“In the negotiations Finland has stressed that measures to protect the salmon stocks must be taken in all areas where salmon occurs during its lifecycle, from the river to the sea. The restrictions must also be equal for Finland and Norway and for different groups of fishers. With these perspectives in mind, we are taking Norway’s proposal very seriously,” Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä says.

Finland will form its position and reply to Norway during this and next week. The proposal has been discussed with the management group for the Tana salmon stocks and the delegation negotiating on the fishing rule for the river, and it will also be negotiated with the Sámi Parliament. The fishing regulations for the next year will also be circulated for comment. The decision concerning restrictions for the 2021 season should be in force by 1 May.


Teppo Säkkinen, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 50 516 2868, teppo.sakkinen(at)

Tapio Hakaste, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 162 152, tapio.hakaste(at)

Vesa Ruusila, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 162 051, vesa.ruusila(at)

EU and international affairs Fisheries Jari Leppä Nature and climate