Seals kill nine tons of farmed fish in Southern Finland – Fishupdate.com

Seals kill nine tons of farmed fish in Southern Finland Published:  15 January, 2007

IN recent weeks grey seals have killed a total of around nine tons of trout in the fishery of Sandvikin Lohi in Pyhtää on the south coast of Finland.

Because of the mild winter, seals are staying close to the coast in areas where they are not normally seen at this time of the year.

According to Scandinavian newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, the company breeds fish in tanks in the sea. In order to prevent seals from getting near the fish, the tanks have been equipped with protective nets. However, the seals have learned how to maul fish through the net.

The total value of the trout killed by the grey seals amounts to around EUR 31,500. In addition, the entrepreneur has to pay for the transfer of the dead fish to the waste disposal site, including waste disposal charges. On this occasion the waste disposal charge was EUR 1,100.

Under the Hunting Act, fishermen are entitled to compensation from the government for any damage (for instance to their nets) caused by seals, but this does not apply to fish farmers.

“The policy is that we finance investments in protective netting, but we do not pay any compensation. The entrepreneur should take all possible measures to prevent damage”, reports Orian Bondestam from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Professional fishermen are not entitled to any compensation, either, for any damages to their catch.

According to the report, in the period from 2000 to 2001, some professional fishermen were paid compensation for the damage caused by seals, but the European Commission was not willing to continue the policy any more. Currently, new negotiations on the issue are under way, with the decision being due in the spring.

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