With the increase in seal populations, also the damage caused to fishing and fish farming has increased. The grey seal especially causes a lot of damage to coastal fishing. The most common type of damage due to seals is lost catch (completely eaten and damaged fish) and broken traps.
By improving the structures and materials used in the construction of fish traps, ways have been found to ameliorate the damage caused by seals, but there is hardly anything that can be done to protect gill nets.
The Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute together with professional fishermen on the coast have developed a pontoon trap model with which it is possible to capture grey seals alive. This, for its part, is aimed to decrease the harm caused by seals to fishing. It is an ethical method to remove seals from fish traps. At the same time, this method makes it possible to capture and utilize seals.
Fish catch damaged by a grey seal.
Photo: Mervi Kunnasranta
Baltic seals – balancing between sustainable ecosystem management and fisheries (ECOSEAL)
Harmaahylkeiden elävänäpyynti- ja talteenottomenetelmän kehittäminen sekä ongelmayksilöiden liikkumisen ja käyttäytymisen seuranta (in Finnish)
Lohen rysäkalastus ja hyljevahinkojen vähentäminen (in Finnish)
Harmaahylkeiden elävänäpyynti kalanpyydyksillä (in Finnish)
Hylkeiden ja rannikkokalastuksen sekä kalastajien välinen vuorovaikutus (in Finnish)