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Part I Statistics and main indicators

  1. Country brief
  2. General geographic and economic indicators
  3. FAO Fisheries statistics

The Profile (2005)

    Additional information

    1. FAO Thematic data bases
    2. Publications
    3. Meetings & News archive

    Part I Statistics and main indicators

    Part I of the Fishery and Aquaculture Country Profile is compiled using the most up-to-date information available from the FAO Country briefs and Statistics programmes at the time of publication. The Country Brief and the FAO Fisheries Statistics provided in Part I may, however, have been prepared at different times, which would explain any inconsistencies.

    Country briefUpdated 05-2017

    Current situation

    Finland has a long sea coastline, about 189 thousand lakes and a large number of rivers. The Finnish archipelago is Europe’s largest, with more than 81000 islands. Although the maritime sector has an important weight to national economy the share of fishery in the Finnish gross domestic product is at the level of 0.1%. Among the traditional maritime sectors, equipment and shipping are the largest in terms of employment.

    The Finnish fishery sector includes fishing and fish farming in the Baltic Sea and in a smaller scale also in the inland waters. In 2015, the total commercial catch in the Baltic Sea was about 153 400 tonnes and had a value of EUR 47 million. The most important species in capture fisheries is the Atlantic herring, representing on average about 86 percent of total marine catches, although sprat, cod and several coastal species such as pike-perch also play an important role. A significant part of the herring and sprat catch is used as a raw material for animal feeds and mainly in the fur industry. Aquaculture production is dominated by the farming of rainbow trout (over 90 percent) in Finland. National aquaculture production was about 14 900 tonnes in 2015. As of 2014 over 1 000 people were reported as employed either part or full time in aquaculture.

    The catch of the commercial fishing in inland waters totalled over 6 000 tonnes in 2015 with the value of EUR 9.9 million. Recreational fisheries are common in Finland as about 28 percent of the population (about 1.5 million persons) are engaged in this activity. The total catch in recreational fishing in 2015 was about 23 450 tonnes. The inland catches consist mainly of fresh water fish distributed in coastal and inland waters, the most important species is vendace, a freshwater whitefish. Inland water fishing employment was reported as 405 people, with almost 70% full time. Another 2 084 people were reported as engaged in marine fishing with 7% of those people women. Most people, about 78%, were only engaged on a part time basis.

    In 2015 the fleet numbered 2 733 vessels and a total capacity of 15 420 GT and total engine power of 156839 kW and over 71 percent of the vessels were gill netters.

    There were 136 companies on fish processing in 2011 in Finland. Although companies are mainly small and often in multiple businesses, segments' yearly turnover is over EUR 350 million. A large majority of firms are located in coastal areas. The processing industry uses raw material from domestic fish production as well as from imported fish. Fish processing, retail and trade has increased in recent years.

    Finland is a net importer of fishery products and in 2015 imports of fish and fishery products were valued at USD 410.8 million and exports at USD 37.2 million. Major imports include fishmeal, largely from Iceland, fresh and chilled fish from Norway and Sweden, and prepared or preserved fish, as well as caviar and caviar substitute. Finland's per capita fish consumption, estimated at about 35.2 kg in 2013, is well above the world's average.

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is the primary administrator for fisheries in Finland. However, much of management is decentralized. Finland became a member of the EU in the beginning of 1995. The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) of EU has an important role in the fisheries conducted at the Baltic Sea but it plays a smaller role in the coastal and inland water fishing.

    The European Commission has adopted an investment package for the Finish maritime sector and especially its fisheries and aquaculture industry. Roughly €141 million will be made available under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund for the period 2014-2020, €70 millions of which are EU funds. The EMFF assists EU Member States to reach the objectives of the reformed EU Common Fisheries Policy.

    Current issues

    The Finnish fishery sector has gone through a major change during the last couple decades and the number of vessels has been decreasing while the capacity increases. In 1995 the Finnish fishing fleet numbered 4 106 vessels, with a combined total tonnage of 24 600 GT and a combined total power of 224 800 kW by 2005 the fleet had been reduced to 3 266 vessels, with a combined capacity of 17 200 GT and a total power of 172 000 kW.

    Likewise, while total fish production has remained relatively stable, the number of commercial fishermen has decreased, for example, the 2014 employment in marine fishing had declined by 34 percent in fishing employment from the 2000 level. There are plans to expand and diversify the aquaculture in the Baltic Sea. The share of recreational fishing is in increasing in inland water areas. Compared to other European countries, recreational fisheries in Finland is not limited to fishing with rods only. Sports fisheries for salmon are important in some rivers. Substantial efforts and financial resources are used in Finland to restore major watercourses having salmonid species. Significant economic potential is seen in the recreational fishery.

    Since June 1996, Finland is Party to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement. Finland is also Party to the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement.
    General geographic and economic indicators

    Table 1 - General Geographic and Economic Data – The Republic of Finland

    Shelf area: 81,185 km²

    Sea Around US:


    Length of continental coastline: 6,299 km

    European Commission:

    EMFF - Finland

    Fisheries GDP (2012): <0,1% National GDP

    European Commission:

    EMFF - Finland

    *Value converted by FAO as per UN currency exchange rate

    Key statistics

    Country area338 420km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Land area303 890km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Inland water area34 530km2Computed. Calculated, 2013
    Population - Est. & Proj.5.497millionsFAOSTAT. Official data, 2018
    Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) area81 072km2VLIZ

    Source: FAO Country Profile

    FAO Fisheries statisticsTable 2 in this section is based on statistics prepared by the Statistics and Information Branch of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department and disseminated in 2016. The charts are based on the same source but these are automatically updated every year with the most recent disseminated statistics.

    Table 2 – Fisheries statistics – The Republic of Finland

          1980 1990 2000 2010 2012 2013 2014
    EMPLOYMENT (thousands) 8.45 6.33 5.72 3.79 3.78 3.63 3.54
      Aquaculture 0.97 1.55 1.99 1.26 1.24 1.18 1.07
      Capture 7.48 4.78 3.73 2.53 2.54 2.45 2.47
        Inland 2.75 1.74 1.02 0.34 0.38 0.38 0.41
        Marine 4.73 3.05 2.71 2.2 2.16 2.06 2.07
    FLEET(thousands vessels)     10.89 8.74
    Source: FAO Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics
    1) Due to roundings total may not sum up

    Please note: Fishery statistical data here presented exclude the production for marine mammals, crocodiles, corals, sponges, pearls, mother-of-pearl and aquatic plants.


    Updated 2005The Profile

    This country profile provides statistics and indicators produced through FAO’s Statistics programmes, supplemented with information derived from national and other sources and valid at the time of compilation.

    Full text of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Country Profile available at /fishery/docs/DOCUMENT/fcp/en/FI_CP_FI.pdf

    Additional information

    FAO Thematic data bases

    Meetings & News archive


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