According to the Fishing Act, the responsibility for organising fishing and fisheries management rests with the fishing rights holder. The supervision of fishing activities can be considered to be a part of this responsibility, which aims to fulfil the requirement defined in Section 1 of the Fishing Act to ensure ecologically, economically and socially sustainable management of Finland's fish resources in such a way as to secure a sustainable and diversified economic return on our fish resources and safeguard the natural life cycle of fish stocks and the protection and biodiversity of fish resources and other aquatic flora and fauna. Supervision also ensures that Finland's fishing-related legislation is adhered to in practice.
Fishing activities are supervised by different authorities (police, border guards, fishing authorities, customs officials) as part of their official duties. Sworn and trained fishing supervisors approved by an ELY Centre also have the authority to conduct fishing supervision as defined in the Fishing Act.
Fishing supervision in state-owned water areas controlled by Metsähallitus is subject to the Act on the Supervision of Hunting, Fishing and the Wilderness Areas (1157/2005). Wilderness inspectors coordinate the supervision efforts. A wilderness inspector is a law enforcement official with rights comparable to those of a police officer. The work of wilderness inspectors is supported by trained fishing supervisors authorised by Metsähallitus.
The responsibilities of a fisher
The fisher is responsible for keeping receipts of paid fishing permits on hand. The fisher must be able to prove to supervising authorities or to a fishing supervisor that they have the required permits if requested to do so. According to Finnish law, the fisher must provide the fisheries authorities or fishing supervisor with information necessary for the completion of the individual supervisory action. This information includes name, contact information and Finnish personal identity number (henkilötunnus). If the fisher does not have a Finnish personal identity number, they must provide their date of birth and nationality.
The fisher must also comply with a clearly observable stop signal given by a fishing supervisor when operating a vehicle used for fishing.