Good Practice Short Story
Restoring and establishing spawning grounds of pike is an efficient way of improving fish stocks at the same time as supporting other objectives such as skills development, fostering collaboration, and increasing tourism.
The Stockholmsbygd FLAG area, covering an archipelago of over 30 000 small islands off the coast of mainland Sweden, has many shallow coastal areas and wetlands which are spawning grounds for predatory fish such as pike and perch. In recent years, however, over a quarter of these natural wetlands have been lost due to an increase in cultivation and agriculture, causing pike numbers to dwindle. As a result, non-predatory whitefish species such as flounder, roach, and herring, which are normally prey to pike, have increased substantially causing eutrophication on the archipelago and an imbalanced ecosystem.
To tackle the problem, the Stockholmsbygd FLAG has approved a project to develop a new manmade wetland system that replicates the natural spawning grounds of pike. The aim of the system is to increase pike stocks in the area, reducing the negative effects of eutrophication and redressing a balanced natural environment. Led by NGO the Utö Initiative, the innovative project comprises several local enthusiasts who work on environment issues in the area. The initiative has been developed following the success of similar manmade wetlands in other areas across southern Sweden, including another wetland funded by the Stockholmsbygd FLAG on Ornö island which has successfully increased pike numbers.
Drawing on the experience and lessons learned from the Ornö island wetland, the FLAG was able to support the new project from the research and development process through to its installation and completion. Along with restoring natural ecosystems in the area, the project also brings together a diverse range of local stakeholders from different sectors in a concerted effort to improve the areas natural environment, while also adding appeal when attracting tourists to the region.
|Other public contribution||
|Private contribution||€60 000|
|Timeframe of implementation||From Apr 2020 to Jul 2021|
|Type of area|