Use of funds from fisheries management fees
The Fishing Act (section 82) specifies how the funds from fisheries management fees may be used. The objective of the Fishing Act and the fisheries management fee is to safeguard natural fish stocks and maintain good fishing opportunities. Fish stocks that are viable can be utilised in an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable manner.
Fisheries management fees are processed via the state budget. In the budget, fisheries management fees are allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Since the budget is made in advance, the exact sum of the fisheries management fees for the year under review is not clear at this stage. For this reason, the amount of money allocated to the year being budgeted is the same as the accrued fisheries management fees in the previous confirmed financial statements.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry grants funds for planning and implementing fisheries management, advisory services, supervision of fishing, and compensation paid to water area owners for the use of fishing waters. In addition, the ministry grants the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment the right to distribute funds regionally.
Decisions on the allocation of funds are made by the Cabinet Finance Committee. In accordance with the 2018 financial statements, a total of nearly 8.6 million euros in proceeds from fisheries management fees were distributed in 2020. The emphasis when distributing the funds was on safeguarding the biodiversity of natural fish and crayfish stocks, promoting recreational fishing and supervising fishing. The funds were divided as follows:
Sustainable development and management of fish stocks 24%
Sustainable fishing requires healthy fishing waters and fish stocks. The fisheries regions are responsible for planning and implementing the management of fishing waters. Fisheries regions are larger than the former fishing areas, which provides better opportunities to, for example, manage migratory fish stocks. Supervision of fishing is part of fishing waters management. The work done by fishing wardens also includes advising anglers.
Fisheries region activities 14%
Systematic use and management of fishing waters requires well-functioning administration. The costs of fisheries region activities are partly covered by the funds from fisheries management fees. The fisheries regions are obliged to prepare a management plan for the fishing waters in their area.
Advisory services in the fishery sector 18%
The Finnish Federation for Recreational Fishing and the Federation of Finnish Fisheries Associations and their member organisations advise anglers, fisheries regions and the owners of fishing waters. They also provide training, teach young anglers and inspire people to start fishing and manage fish stocks. The organisations receive assistance from funds accrued as fisheries management fees
Compensation to owners of water areas 36%
The fisheries management fee entitles an angler to fish with a single rod nearly everywhere in Finland regardless of who owns the water area. The owners of water areas receive compensation for the burden caused by lure fishing from the funds accrued as fisheries management fees. Anglers benefit from the fee because the compensation is distributed based on the strain caused by lure fishing in different water areas. Fishing strain is determined via studies. The owners of the fishing waters primarily use the fisheries management fee funds that they receive for managing fish stocks.
Costs of collecting the fees 7%
The fisheries management fee cannot be collected without communication about its statutory nature and importance to the fisheries sector. For example, funding for the Suomu magazine comes from this segment. Collection of the fee also requires IT systems through which anglers can pay their fees.
Costs of fishery administration registers 1%
Proceeds from the fisheries management fee are used to fund fishery administration registers in accordance with section 94 of the Fishing Act.