Fishing and aquaculture

Vision 2030

Sustainable commercial fishing will support self-sufficiency and produce climate-friendly food. It will also strengthen the vitality of coastal regions and the archipelago, based on collaborative local decision-making.
Aquaculture supports self-sufficiency, produces sustainable and climate-friendly local and Finnish food, and creates vitality for the archipelago and the coastal regions. Aquaculture supports the coastal infrastructure related to fishing.

The graph illustrates the main operations of the sector in the different zones of the marine area today and in 2030 

Before After


Commercial fishing
Net fishing and fyke net fishing are mainly carried out in the archipelago and bays. In terms of numbers, the majority of fishers operate on the coast, although this represents only a small proportion of the commercial catch in the entire marine area. (B42). Coastal fishing is important both for the preservation of cultural heritage and as a livelihood. Open-sea fishing is mainly carried out by large-scale trawlers, whose catch represents up to 95% of the commercial catch in the Finnish marine area (B42). Trawling is also carried out in the outer archipelago.
In terms of commercial fishing in marine areas, the most important species is the Baltic herring, which represents around 90% of the total catch and 70% of the value. In terms of catching, other important species include common whitefish, European sprat, pikeperch, common perch and salmon (B13).
The basic preconditions for fishing include healthy and renewable fish stocks, which are dependent on the good ecological status of marine areas, as well as habitats in marine areas. The preservation of important spawning grounds is the prerequisite for a sustainable fishing industry. Important breeding grounds include river deltas and low coastal waters with vegetation in the inner archipelago, as well as flads. The risks related to their preservation include coastal construction, eutrophication, siltation and dredging (B14). Feeding areas are water areas where fish stay between spawning periods and where the growth of fish mainly takes place (B15). The routes to breeding grounds in rivers used by migratory fish are also key in terms of the survival of fish stocks. Unobstructed routes ensure the vitality of the species, and their consideration is important for the sustainability of fish farming.
The profitability of operations is based on demand for fish and the processing of fish. Key preconditions include logistical connections between the mainland and the marine area, as well as the accessibility of any further processing facilities. Fishing opportunities are affected by weather conditions, the length of the ice season and changes in water surface levels. In addition, the sustainable stock management of species harmful to coastal fishing is an important precondition. New offshore activities require coordination with the needs of the traditional fishing industry.
The theme of fishing and aquaculture emphasises the interaction between sea and land, as the ecological status of the sea is linked to catchment areas and the nutrient load originating from there. The sector also affects the status of the marine environment, because fish farming produces nutrient emissions, while fishing removes nutrients from water.
Fry-stage fish farming is carried out in inland waters and indoor facilities, as well as in sheltered areas in the sea in the intermediate archipelago or near the shore. Fish farms usually also have access to a winter storage site protected from storms and ice in the archipelago. Further farming mainly takes place in the intermediate archipelago or at the edges of the open sea. Rainbow trout represents the majority (95%) of the fish farmed in Finland (B14).
Efficient logistical connections between marine areas and the mainland and between the various fish farming, further processing and distribution locations are important. The ecologically good status of the marine areas is essential for operations and growth in the sector. In terms of location, key factors include flowing and changing water, protection from the worst storms, a reasonable maintenance distance and connections to the mainland (B14, B11).


The management and planning of aquaculture and fishing locations are carried out alongside maritime spatial planning

– The location management plan for fish farming will be updated.

– The planning of aquaculture will be further specified at the management plan level.

Regional infrastructure and operations support the development of the sector

– The infrastructure required for fishing and aquaculture (incl. coastal waterways and connections) will be developed and maintained

– Opportunities for the shared use of areas will be identified and exploited (incl. soft users: recreation, hunting, tourism)

– Fish spawning areas, as well as areas important in terms of fishing, will be taken into account in regional planning

The nutrient load caused by aquaculture has been reduced successfully, and local impacts are taken into account

– The development of sustainable production methods and the environmentally friendly placement of fish farming is promoted

– Fry production will be placed in circulation water plants on land and further farming in the open sea as far as possible in order to make the environmental load more manageable

– As far as possible, winter storage sites will be placed in further farming areas to reduce the pressure caused by nutrient loads

– The collection of sludge will be increased in connection with aquaculture

Fishing promotes the good status of the marine environment

– Fishing that affects the status of the marine environment positively will be increased

Operators in the field form a close cooperation network

– Cooperation will be developed and increased between the owners of water areas and fishers.

– Cooperation will be increased between maritime spatial planning and the management plans of fishery areas.

– Dialogue and cooperation will be increased between the tourism industry and fishers.

Issues in the sector can be discussed and resolved at the societal level

– Social understanding will be increased concerning the significance of the population management of species harmful to fishing

(conflict between the seal population and fishing/fish farming and conflict between the great cormorant population and fishing)

– Efforts will be made to increase the comprehensive examination of the food system with regard to marine nutrient loads (incl. agriculture)

The development and survival of the industry will be ensured

– The diverse use of Finnish fish will be increased (incl. higher added value and the use of less valuable fish) 

– Local food chains will be developed, and the brand of pure local food will be strengthened

– The start-up of business operations related to fishing tourism will be supported

Competence will be maintained in the sector

– Efforts will be made to maintain competence that is necessary for the sector in Finland and to provide more training for fishing and aquaculture operators

– The entry of new fishers into the sector will be facilitated (incl. easier provision of licences and financial support)

– Information about career opportunities in the sector will be communicated clearly

Background information

Synergies and conflicts

View the Synergies and conflicts table for all industries.

Ecosystem services

The fishing and aquaculture sectors make use of at least the following ecosystem services provided by the marine ecosystem:

– Production service: fish stocks and other marine organisms

– Maintenance and regulation services: a healthy living environment throughout the life cycle of the species to be fished or farmed

– The good status of the marine environment and good water quality are the most significant factors affecting the availability of exploited ecosystem services.



    – Demand for fish is increasing with the increasing popularity of local food and the decrease in meat consumption. Investments are made in expertise and technology, and the level of added value is increasing, which will improve profitability. New markets and products will emerge that meet the growing demand. Through marketing, it will be possible to engage with retail and customers more effectively than before.

  – Fish stocks are exploited sustainably and diversely in such a way that the use of less valuable species and side streams will also increase. Management fishing is becoming more common.


    – The fish supply chain from the sea to the consumer runs smoothly and is more effective in terms of logistics. The coastal infrastructure supports fishing operations (ports, roads, energy, etc.), and existing fishing ports are being further developed.

         – The status of ecosystems is improving, which ensures vibrant fish populations, as well as ensuring favourable conditions for the sector. – The nutrient impacts from land can be reduced, and fish stocks will be taken better into account, even in the planning and dredging of shipping lanes, for example. More effective fishing control and well-functioning fish passage solutions support the vitality of fish stocks.

         – The sector is attractive, and the number of professional fishers is increasing. People are encouraged to become professional fishers, and the costs at the start-up stage are reasonable.

         – Synergies between fishing and other sectors will be taken better into account. For example, the local knowledge of fishers can be utilised in tourism.

         – Conflicts between fishing and species harmful to fishing can be resolved.


    – The growing demand for fish promotes favourable conditions for aquaculture, and fish farming will increase. The sector is an integral part of Finnish fish production, and it promotes self-sufficiency.

         – Fish farming is piloted and developed in larger units in the open sea, where the environment is less susceptible to loading. In the open sea, the production conditions are challenging and require technological innovations. 

         – New fish farming techniques, such as mobile farming units, are being tested. Synergies with wind energy areas are also being examined.

         – In coastal regions and the archipelago, winter-season fish farming pools are increasingly being transferred to the outer archipelago and the open sea, where the farming pools are under the ice over the winter.

         – Efforts will be made to reduce nutrient emissions from aquaculture through technological development, better feed (e.g. Baltic Sea feed) and location management. The collection of sludge and the concentration of fry production in circulation water plants on land can also reduce the load.

         – Closed-cycle aquaculture is increasing. Closed-circuit facilities are evolving, and their size is increasing.

         – Permit processes are being examined and developed to facilitate the testing and implementation of new solutions (e.g. mobile fish farming plants).

         – The farming of algae, common reed and mussels, as well as the related opportunities, are being studied.