Hunting and fishing control report: Record amount of large predator supervision

Tue 15 May 2018 10:13:00 AM EEST

Last year the hunting and fishing supervision authorities conducted a record number of inspections regarding the hunting of large predators. The number of crimes uncovered was below average.

Last year the hunting and fishing supervision authorities conducted a record number of inspections regarding the hunting of large predators. The number of crimes uncovered was below average. Metsähallitus wilderness inspectors checked 9,500 outdoor enthusiasts last year, according to a report on hunting and fishing control from 2017. The greatest number of citations were for off-road vehicles. More than 20 percent of snowmobile users did not have permits, or committed violations.

Read more about wilderness supervision reports at Eräluvat.fi (https://www.eraluvat.fi/erapalvelut/eravalvonta/valvontaraportit.html)

Wilderness inspectors upgraded their supervision of off-road traffic. Although many violations were found in off-road traffic, permits were slightly better in order than in the previous year. Most of the inspections of off-road traffic concerned snowmobiles but inspectors also monitored the use of quad bikes when the ground was thawed.

Sixteen percent of snowmobile users were found to lack permits while riding on snowmobile tracks or elsewhere in the terrain. In the previous year the figure had been 17 percent. Violations were also found in five percent of inspections.

An increasingly common problem in recent years has been the illegal use of snowmobiles outside officially approved routes and tracks. It is increasingly common to ride snowmobiles without permits in areas of untouched snow.

"In the worst of cases this can damage sapling stands or disturb the nesting of predatory birds", says Juha Ahonen, specialist in Game and Fisheries Supervision at Metsähallitus.

In the summer Metsähallitus wilderness inspectors came across a few lazy berry pickers who used quad bikes to reach berry bushes instead of walking there.

"Especially in damp terrain quad bikes leave deep tracks which heal slowly", Ahonen points out.
Hunters' permits again in better order

The smallest number of permit violations and other unlawful actions found by wilderness inspectors were related to hunting. According to the hunting and fisheries control report three percent of hunters who were checked were in violation of the law one way or another. The most common violation was carrying an unprotected weapon in a car. Hunters were found to lack proper hunting permits in 0.3 percent of all cases.

Inspectors conducted a record number of 435 inspections in connection with the hunting of large predators. Four cases of aggravated hunting crimes linked with large predators were recorded.

There were more issues concerning fishing and moving around in nature conservation areas. Sixteen percent of people who were fishing were found to be doing so illegally or without a licence. In national parks and nature protection areas violations were recorded in 10 percent of all inspections.