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Government proposal to ban salmon fishing in River Tenojoki to Parliament

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Publication date 17.11.2022 13.25
Press release

The government proposal to ban salmon fishing in the River Tenojoki (Tana) in 2023 was submitted to Parliament at the government plenary session on Thursday 17 November 2022. Salmon fishing in the River Tenojoki is to be prohibited in order to enable the recovery of the salmon stocks.

The status of the salmon stocks in the Tenojoki watercourse is still very weak. The analysis of the results from sonar, video and snorkelling counts shows that the stock status is at most the same as in 2021 or slightly weaker. In addition, based on the numbers of one-sea-winter (1SW) salmon ascending the River Tenojoki, the forecast for the numbers of valuable big hen salmon of several sea winters is also very poor. The recovery of the salmon stocks will not start unless there are more big female fish in the River Tenojoki and its tributaries. This is why the proposal is to continue the ban on salmon fishing. 

Because the River Tenojoki is a border river between Finland and Norway, the decisions on salmon fishing for each year are made together with Norway. In addition, the ban on fishing or strong restrictions must be discussed by the Finnish Parliament. Efforts have been made to negotiate a solution where some fishing of a very small scale could be allowed. These efforts have failed, however, as none of the options have proven feasible. The parties that have suggested different solutions have very divergent views with respect to the type of fishing that could be allowed in this situation. 

The legislative proposal on the ban on salmon fishing in the River Tenojoki is submitted to Parliament at such an early stage so that it can be processed before the end of the current parliamentary term. Otherwise, the act would not enter into force before the start of the fishing season. 

The legislative proposal also contains sections that would provide a framework for controlled fishing targeted to pink salmon, as strong upwards migration of the species to the River Tenojoki is expected for next summer as well. 

Vesa Ruusila, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 162 051, vesa.ruusila(at)
Tapio Hakaste, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 162 152, tapio.hakaste(at)

Antti Kurvinen Fisheries