Extraction of Baltic Sea fish recommended for fish feed. This would enable the recycling of marine nutrients and eliminate the need for fish feed imports. This is one of the recommendations jointly drawn up by the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute and the Finnish Environment Institute for the promotion and coordination of fishing, fish farming and other methods of exploiting the marine environment and resources in the Archipelago Sea.
The two institutes conducted a case study on the sustainable use of the Archipelago Sea under the EU-funded COEXIST project -- Interaction in European coastal waters: A roadmap to sustainable integration of aquaculture and fisheries.
The Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute and the Finnish Environment Institute drew up six sustainability recommendations for the Archipelago Sea.
The six recommendations are:
These recommendations benefit all kinds of marine use. Regional fish farm planning control that benefits all parties helps reduce conflicts with other users of the water body. Planning control can be used to integrate one owner's fish farms into larger facilities. This would reduce the number of fish farms in the Archipelago Sea by up to 60%. It would also mean that the number of summer cottages located closer than 500 metres from a fish farm would come down by more than 80%. The profitability of fish farming would also improve, because larger facilities have lower production costs.
Swedish authorities communicate more
The study also involved comparing the Finnish and Swedish management and planning systems for fish farming. Both countries have been enforcing a strict environmental policy which has restricted production. In recent years, however, Swedish fish farmers have been allowed to increase production, and Finnish farmers have started transferring their operations to Sweden. This shows that the strict Finnish licensing procedure has driven production, employment opportunities and environmental effects to other parts of the Baltic Sea's catchment area.
The study revealed that, throughout the licensing process, there is more interaction between Swedish fisheries industry authorities and fish farming license applicants than in Finland, which is reflected in the content of licensing decisions as more wide-ranging consideration of perspectives specific to the fisheries industry. On the other hand, the increased cross-sectoral interaction of Finnish government sectors concerning the planning control of future fish farms is indicative of a more acceptable and comprehensive management strategy for fish farming that will benefit the environment and society as well as the fisheries industry.
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