Restrictions at Lake Saimaa
The Saimaa ringed seal, a sub-species of ringed seal, has been classified as critically endangered (CR). Under the Finnish Nature Conservation Decree, the Saimaa ringed seal is a species under strict protection and under the EU Habitats Directive a species in need of strict protection. Metsähallitus is responsible for promoting the protection of the Saimaa ringed seal and managing the monitoring of the population. Metsähallitus also leads the EU-funded Saimaa Seal LIFE project. The main habitats of the Saimaa seal include the national parks of Linnansaari and Kolovesi and Lake Pihlajavesi.
The Finnish Government has issued two decrees restricting fisheries to enhance the protection of the Saimaa ringed seal. One of them prohibits net fishing in the spring and the other lays down all-year technical provisions on fishing gear used in Lake Saimaa.
Net fishing prohibited in the spring
Net fishing is prohibited in the main living areas of Saimaa ringed seal pups each year from 15 April to 30 June.
All-year restrictions on fishing gear
To safeguard the living conditions and breeding of the Saimaa ringed seal in its main habitats, a government decree restricts the use of certain types of fishing gear round the year in the main habitats of the Saimaa seal. According to the decree, the mouth of a wire basket fish trap is not allowed to be wider than 150 mm. All prohibited fishing gear and methods are defined in detail in the decree.
Related links: net fishing prohibition in the spring
- Government decree on fishing restrictions to protect the Saimaa ringed seal (in Finnish)
- Maps of closed areas PDF