Launched a year ago in the spring, the Pirkka Archipelago Fish Patty (Pirkka Saaristolaiskalapihvi) has established itself as one of the most popular frozen fish products in K-Ruoka grocery stores. Now the product family has expanded: a new version fortified with spinach is available alongside the original Archipelago Fish Patty. Both versions of the Archipelago Fish Patty are made of bream caught within the John Nurminen Foundation’s Local Fishing Project.
The Baltic Sea bream used to be a popular fish among consumers back in the 1970s, but since then its popularity has been gradually decreasing. “Consumers don’t associate bream with food fish. We wanted to take action to redress the situation and began cooperation with Kesko in order to bring the bream back to the table,” says Miina Mäki, project manager of The Local Fishing Project.
Health benefits of consuming bream are significant, and according to the new nutrition recommendations by the National Institute of Health and Welfare (THL), Finns are advised to add more fish to their diet. Due to its low fat content, no significant amounts of harmful substances have been detected in cyprinid fish, and thus there are no limitations to its safe consumption.
By eating Baltic Sea fish originating in sustainable fishing, the consumer also performs a pro-environment action: as fish is caught, with it, nutrients are removed from waterbodies, which helps reduce eutrophication of coastal waters. Cyprinid fish have benefited from eutrophication and their populations have increased in coastal waters. On some locations, their movement may also cause nutrients to be released from the sea bed and thus add to eutrophication.
Bream and roach from the Baltic Sea are also a more environmentally sound alternative to meat and imported fish.
”Food production—especially that of meat and milk—is one of the most significant factors putting strain on the Baltic Sea. The easiest way to protect the Baltic Sea is to eat vegetables and domestic fish from sustainable fishing as often as possible,” Mäki explains.
The Local Fishing Project was launched in 2015 by the foundation. The fishers to cooperate in the project are selected annually for a contract period of one year. This year, 24 fishers are working on the Archipelago Sea and the Bothnian Sea with the objective of catching a total of 150,000 – 200,000 kg of roach and bream. The project has received financing from the Interreg Central Baltic Programme.
The previous year yielded a catch of about 160,000 kg, and with it, 1,2 tons of phosphorus were removed from the sea.
As specified in the rules of the project, the fish is caught using fyke nets, which allows for safe release of any predatory fish, migratory fish and endangered fish species. Adherence to the rules is monitored by conducting random checks and by inspecting sales invoices and catch reports.
Project Manager, John Nurminen Foundation
Tel.: +358 50 576 3298