Fisheries Areas Network

Good Practice Short Story

Minced fish from unwanted by-catch

Local fishermen in Lapland, northern Finland, create a mincing facility to process unwanted by-catch into new marketable products such as fish fingers.
Making minced fish looked so promising as an opportunity, that we bought a mincing machine before the project was even finished
Risto Pyhäjärvi, fisherman

Over 20 commercial fishermen work as an organised cooperative on Lake Lokka, an artificial lake situated in Sodankylä, Finland. Their target species are perch, pike and burbot, all of which have relatively high market values. However, in recent years roach by-catch has been increasing, totalling between 100 and 140 tonnes annually. Realising that discarding the roach by-catch in landfill sites was an unsustainable practice, the fisherman of Lake Lokka assessed alternative solutions to the problem.    

After several trials, including attempts at making pet food products from the roach, it became evident that the best option would be to mince the fish, developing opportunities for marketable products fit for human consumption such as fish fingers and “fish loaf”. Having no experience in the mincing or processing of fish, or their economic viability, the fisherman’s cooperative turned to the Lapland FLAG in order to develop the project further.

Through the project, the fishermen identified that there was a profitable market for minced roach. Theytherefore, purchased a mincing machine and developed a line of minced fish products (minced roach, burbot and pike) purchased by fish processing companies, municipal foodservices and local restaurants. The project allowed the cooperative to create 1 and a half new jobs.


Budget €25 774
EU contribution €10 903
  • EMFF: €10 903
Other public contribution €14 871
  • National: €12 294
  • Regional: €2 577

Détails de contact

Contacts du GALPA

Mr. Markku Ahonen
+358 40 7046094
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