1 July 2012

Sustainability in action: Neste Oil helping to help restock trout populations in Eastern Uusimaa

The Eastern Uusimaa and River Porvoonjoki Water and Air Pollution Prevention Association has launched a five-year project, known as Jokitalkkari (River Warden), aimed at reviving local trout stocks in the area. Neste Oil is one of the companies backing the project, together with Borealis, Fortum, Porvoon Energia, Porvoon Vesi, and others. The project has a total budget of EUR 500,000, which is being financed by a total of over 30 contributors, including local municipalities, local centers for economic development, transport and the environment, local fishing districts, and various companies.

A more effective technique

Restocking declining fish populations is traditionally done by releasing young fish grown for the purpose at fish farms into affected waterways. Fish reintroduced in this way have often lost some of their ability to survive and reproduce in the wild, however, and typically quickly end being caught by fishermen, rather than helping increase the local fish population. As a result, a technique originally developed in the US and based on introducing fish roe directly into waterways will be used in the Jokitalkkari project. This technique has been used elsewhere in Finland and the resulting adult fish have reproduced successfully.

Although the Jokitalkkari project is concentrating on waterways in Eastern Uusimaa and Southern Päijät-Häme, the method could be used throughout Finland and further afield to restock declining populations of fish belonging to the salmon family. The rivers covered by the project are Sipoonjoki, Mustijoki, Porvoonjoki, and Ilolanjoki – all of which could well see significantly improved populations of trout over the next few years and bigger catches for fishermen as well.

The Jokitalkkari project was presented to the media and its backers at the end of May. Tero Myllyvirta of the Association behind the initiative highlighted where the project will have its greatest impact at the press conference held in Café Cabriole in Porvoo.

Young trout are caught for monitoring purposes by stunning them with a small electric shock before returning them to the water

Following the press conference, the Association’s representatives demonstrated the practical aspects of the project at the fish ladder at the Strömsberginkoski Rapids.