Endangered Saimaa Ringed Seal lives only in the lake of Saimaa in Finland. There are only about 260 seals left. This spring about 60 females will reproduce, and it is estimated that nearly half of seal pups will be drowned when they get entangled into fishnets of recreational fishermen. The seal population can’t survive if this will go on.
There is a solution. A total ban of fishing nets at the Ringed Saimaa seal breeding areas from 15th April to 30th June. The fishermen could still use other kind of fishing methods, for example seal safe fish traps.
There is also an obstacle. Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Sirkka-Liisa Anttila (Centre), favors voluntary conservation and random compensations to fishermen.
Article from Helsingin Sanomat newspaper 1th April 2009:
Scattered restrictions on net fishing harm Saimaa ringed seal population
Facebook group for Saimaa Seal (only in Finnish so far, sorry / anteeksi!).
Ringed Saimaa Seal is also a symbol of The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation
The video of the tiny Ringed Saimaa Seal pup growing in the open ice in the Lake Saimaa by Juha Taskinen. Normally seal pup will be born in a snow lair under thick snowdrifts on the ice near the shoreline. But because of the climate change there is not always enough snow for that, so this baby seal was born in the open ice.
(Movie © Juha Taskinen 2007)
Jääkuutti from Pelastetaan Norppa on Vimeo.