Benefit: Total catch


The most important fish species for professional fishers in the Baltic Sea is the Baltic herring (Clupea harengus membras). In the 2000s it covered nearly 80% of the total catch. The second important fish species is the sprat (Sprattus sprattus). The other fish species cover together about 5% of the total catch. This species group includes cod (Gadus morhua),  flounder (Platichthys flesus), powan (Coregonus clupeoides), Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), trout (Salmo trutta), smelt (Osmerus eperlanus), bream (Abramis brama), ide (Leuciscus idus), roach (Rutilus rutilus), pike (Esox lucius), perch (Perca fluviatilis), pike perch (Stizostedion lucioperca), burbot (Lota lota), vendace (Coregonus albula) and eel (Anguilla anguilla).

The average total fish catch of the professional fishers has increased in the Baltic Sea in the last three decades. In 2016 the total catch was  157 000 tonnes and it was at its highest in the 30 year period. The amount of the total fish catch follows quite faithfully the catch of the Baltic herring. The catch of sprat was high in the 1970s but it decreased because of an increase in the cod population. In the mid-1990s the fishing of sprat increased again from some hundred tonnes to 20 000 tonnes annually as a result of developments in the trawling methods. The Finnish sprat catch covers a couple per cents of the whole sprat catch in the Baltic Sea.



The fish catch of amateur fishers has decreased since the end of the 1990s in all areas of the Baltic Sea surrounding Finland. In 1998 the annual fish catch was16 000 tonnes, and it had decreased to 5000 tonnes by 2010. During the past six years the catch has increased  to 7500 tonnes. Catch in the Sea of Bothnia and Kvarken has increased nearly back to the level of 1998.



Fish catch of professional fishers has been approximately little less than 5 million kg annually during the past 15 years. During the 16-year long monitoring period the total catch was at its lowest in 2008, when the catch fell under four million kilos. Since then the catch has increased. The level of six million kilos was exceeded in 2014.

Nearly half of the professional fish catch in inland waters is constituted of vendace alone. The share of roach catch is 14 %. Smelt is the third most abundant species with 10 % share of the catch. Pike perch, bream, perch, pike and whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) cover 2–7% each. The group of other fish species (5 %) include for example eel, salmon, trout and burbot. 


Fish catch of the amateur fishers in inland waters is considerably higher than that of professional fishers. Amateur fish catch has, nevertheless, decreased strongly during the past 10 years. In 1998 the catch was 32 million kg. It started to decline after 2006 and it was about 22 million kilos in 2016.


Commercial marine fishery. Natural Resources Institute Finland.

Commercial inland fishery. Natural Resources Institute Finland.

Recreational fishery. Natural Resources Institute Finland.


Discuss this topic

Start the discussion »

Add comment

If you have trouble reading the code, click on the code itself to generate a new random code.

Your message will be sent for moderation. New comments are usually published on the next workday.

Hide comments