Approximately two million Swedes engage in recreational fishing, and the annual turnover of the
Swedish angling industry is worth over 5 billion SEK (Swedish Krona) - approximately €538 million.
Sportfiskarna sponsors fisheries, water and environmental conservation research. It also promotes youth activities, giving children and young people the opportunity to discover the joys of angling.
Sportfiskarna have had an important role to play in the protection of fish stocks. It was anglers that blew the whistle on both the acidification of Scandinavia’s rivers and lakes and the depletion of the fish populations along the Swedish coast.
Sportfiskarna has also fought for restrictions on salmon fishing in the Baltic Sea, and protection for wild salmon in the rivers of the West Coast and the Baltic Sea. These efforts have led to improvements in the regulation of commercial fishing in the Baltic Sea and in the North Sea and the recovery of Sweden’s wild salmon rivers.
An important task for Sportfiskarna is to run advocacy campaigns. These campaigns have advocated for environmentally-friendly hydroelectricity, sustainable practices in liming, restrictions on coastal net fishing and the cessation of various forms of the exploitation of waterways.
One of Sportfiskarna’s most successful campaigns has been the “Ge fan i våra vatten” merchandising campaign, which translates as “Respect our waters”. Working in collaboration with Swedish rock musicians, the campaign has collected nearly 2 million SEK (Swedish Krona) – approximately €215 000. The proceeds of the campaign have been distributed to salmon, grayling, trout and pike conservation projects, and the removal of several hydropower dams.
The pike conservation project (known as “Back to big fish”) is Sportfiskarna’s largest project and involves the renewal of pike populations through the restoration of wetlands situated adjacent to streams on the Baltic Sea coast.
Additionally, Sportfiskarna operates a practical fisheries management program through its regional offices. The participants include both paid staff and volunteers. Projects which have been completed include the removal of man-made barriers and the restoration of rivers after timber floating by the logging industry, both of which assist the migration of fish populations.
Through its membership of the European Anglers Alliance (EAA), Sportfiskarna works closely with partner associations to ensure healthy fish stocks through sustainable practices in fishing and environmental management.
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