Fisheries Areas Network

Good Practice Short Story

Reinstating wetlands and pike spawning grounds on the Stockholm archipelago

To restore natural balance to ecosystems on the Swedish archipelago, the Stockholmsbygd FLAG has supported an initiative aimed at reinstating coastal wetlands in an effort to increase pike stocks. Key predators in the Baltic, pike are essential to maintaining biodiversity and healthy waters in the area.
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.
Susanne Ortmanns, Stockholmsbygd FLAG

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. 


Budget €100 000
EU contribution €40 000
  • EMFF: €40 000
Other public contribution €0
Private contribution €60 000

Contact details

FLAG Contacts

Ms. Susanne Ortmanns
+46 76 213 18 10
Publication date: 
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