Finnish petition to ban fishing nets in endangered seal habitats gathers 50,000 signatures

Share
A ringed seal with data collection equipment attached to its back surfaces above the water in Ilulissat fjord in southwestern Greenland, September 18, 2018. A citizens’ initiative calling for a total ban on fishing nets in habitats used by the endangered Saimaa ringed seal has gathered 50,000 signatures in only three days. It must now be considered by the Finnish Parliament. (Aqqalu Rosing-Asvid/Greenland Institute of Natural Resources/Handout via Reuters)
A citizens’ initiative calling for a total ban on fishing nets in habitats used by the endangered Saimaa ringed seal has gathered more than 50,000 certified signatures in just three days. Having met that threshold, the proposal must now be considered by the Finnish Parliament.

The initiative was set up on Wednesday and proposes a year-round ban on the use of fishing nets in a bid to protect the rare seals, which are unique to the Saimaa lake system.

Currently a partial ban in the area prohibits the use of fishing nets from mid-April to the end of June. At least four seal pups have drowned since the ban was lifted last week.

The ringed seal population dropped to as few as 100 a few decades ago, but thanks to conservation efforts – including the springtime ban on fishing nets – their numbers have rebounded to an estimated 400.

Some 80-90 pups are born in the Saimaa lake region every year but the biologists estimate that as many as 60 young seals die annually.

This past spring forest management agency Metsähallitus counted a total of 67 live pups, which is fewer than in recent years, but weak ice conditions on the lake prevented a complete population assessment.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: From the Arctic to Atlantic, a photographer documents seal hunting in Canada, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Thin ice hampers survey of rare seal dens in southeast Finland, Yle News

Norway: Arctic fox’s rapid journey from Svalbard to Northern Canada stuns researchers, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Authorities in northwest Russia move to protect wild reindeer, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Poachers suspected behind dwindling wolf numbers in Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: Unique freshwater Alaska seals require special conservation efforts, study finds, CBC News

Share
Yle News

Yle News

For more news from Finland visit Yle News.

2 thoughts on “Finnish petition to ban fishing nets in endangered seal habitats gathers 50,000 signatures

  • Avatar
    Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 07:23
    Permalink

    We must protect seals from extinction!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 07:47
    Permalink

    Stop the Nets !!!!

    Reply
Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *