Negotiations on River Tenojoki fishing regulations continue – proposal for salmon fishing ban sent out for comments
Negotiations between Finland and Norway on fishing regulations concerning the River Tenojoki for the upcoming fishing season are still ongoing. The fishing regulations have had to be reassessed based on comments received in both countries. To move the negotiations forward, a ban on salmon fishing is being proposed as an alternative.
The first outcome of the negotiations on amending the fishing regulations by government degree was circulated for comments until 28 March 2022. Strong restrictions have been proposed on salmon fishing due to the very weak status of salmon populations in the River Tenojoki. However, the proposed restrictions would have allowed salmon fishing for a short period in order to maintain the salmon fishing culture in the area using traditional gear. At the same time, the proposal would have eased restrictions on fishing for other species, meaning that fishing in the River Tenojoki would have been allowed to continue this summer with slightly more permissive restrictions than in the previous year.
Almost all of those who submitted comments in Norway objected to the proposal to allow salmon fishing for a couple of weeks. In Finland, a problem that emerged was that the proposed restrictions on salmon fishing were so extensive that they would have had to be implemented as an act rather than through a government decree, as is usually done when imposing less severe restrictions.
Based on the comments received, the Finnish and Norwegian authorities had to declare that the conditions for signing the protocol concerning the exceptions were not met by the deadline at the end of March. Instead, the countries had to agree on an extension in order to find a solution. Norway and Finland were unable to reach an agreement on the earlier proposal that would have placed restrictions on fishing. This means that, given the weak status of the salmon population, a solution will be sought through a ban on salmon fishing. Biologically, the ban is justified as research data shows that fewer salmon have returned this year from the Arctic Ocean to the River Tenojoki system than one year ago.
In connection with the negotiations, a government proposal for an act on the prohibition of salmon fishing in the River Tenojoki in 2022 is being sent out for comments. As the start of the fishing season is fast approaching, the schedule is exceptionally tight. The deadline for submitting comments is 7 April 2022 at 14.00. Information on how to submit a comment is available here (in Finnish):
With regard to fishing regulations other than those concerning salmon fishing, the plan is to proceed according to the agreed amendments.
Inquiries at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry:
Vesa Ruusila, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 2951 62051, vesa.ruusila(at)gov.fi
Tapio Hakaste, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 2951 62152, tapio.hakaste(at)gov.fi