Norway asked to explain why bend nets allowed for salmon fishing in Finnmark
Finland and Norway negotiated on the restrictions on salmon fishing in the River Tenojoki during this spring. Because of the weak status of the salmon populations, the countries decided to ban salmon fishing in the main stem and tributaries of the River Tenojoki. Similarly, Norway banned salmon fishing in the Tana Fjord and on the outer coast on both sides of the Tana Fjord. This week, however, Norway decided to cancel the ban on the use of bend nets in the other parts of the Finnmark marine area for 2021. The decision came as a complete surprise to the Finnish authorities.
Salmon use these waters as their feeding area before migrating upstream to spawn. The changes in the conditions of the marine area are considered to be one of the main causes for the decline in the salmon population. So far, however, it has not been possible to identify any individual causes in more detail. Already before the negotiations between the two countries were completed, Norway had banned bend nets that are commonly used in salmon fishing in its marine area.
Norway’s decision falls within its national competence, and as such it does not violate the agreement between Finland and Norway concerning salmon fishing in 2021. However, when negotiating on the agreement Finland understood that the ban on bend nets would also apply in the Finnmark area, thus adding to the other significant actions taken to protect the salmon population.
Today, on 4 June, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä sent a letter on the matter to Sveinung Rotevatn, the Minister of Climate and Environment of Norway. In the letter Norway is asked to explain its decision and the reasons for cancelling the ban in more detail.
Finland has a very good relationship and contacts with Norway, and both countries share the concern about the declining salmon populations in the River Tenojoki. At the moment negotiations are under way concerning the renewal of the Fishing Rule that complements the agreement on fishing in the River Tenojoki for the next seven years.
Tapio Hakaste, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 162 152, tapio.hakaste(at)mmm.fi
Vesa Ruusila, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 162 051, vesa.ruusila(at)mmm.fi
Teppo Säkkinen, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 50 516 2868, teppo.sakkinen(at)tem.fi