You are welcome to fish – but buy a fishing license first!
Åland is special in many ways – also when it comes to fishing grounds and fishing licenses. You are very welcome as a fishing guest and to fish in many of the waters around Åland. But a fishing license is always required – sometimes one, sometimes several, depending on where you want to fish.
The Åland fishing grounds have many different owners; some areas are owned privately while others are owned by a village community or an association. Also the Åland landscape owns some areas.
Many different licenses
For all of Åland there are close to 60 different fishing licenses and they are sold by for example holiday village owners, local grocers, fishing guides and sport fishing shops. First find out where you want to fish and then buy the licenses you need. You can buy a card anywhere on Åland – they are not attached to the place where you stay.
Prices vary; some cards can be 5 Euro for one day while others cost 30 Euro for a week. The income is usually used to introduce more fish to the sea, mainly pike, sea trout and salmon.
Fishing licenses allow fishing with a rod, jig and angle. From April 15th to June 15th you are not allowed to fish from land. This is the time when sea birds breed and they are protected.
Sign a contract
The fishing license’s area is marked on a map. “It is practical if you as a fisherman are used to reading nautical charts, so that you know which area to stay in”, says Maria Häggblom who runs two holiday cottages in Åland with many fishing guests.
She lets all her fishing guests sign a so called fishing contract before they go out to try their fishing luck. The idea with the contract is that it should lead to responsible fishing. You promise to stick to the license area, stay sober at sea and to return the boat in the same condition as when you received it – among other things.
The contract also stipulates how much fish you can keep – maximum one pike and five perch per person a day.
Maria Häggblom has a hint to fishermen from Finland: “Many come to Åland with the Finnish fishing license which is valid for fishing in Finland, but it is not valid in Åland. Here everybody must buy one or more of Åland’s fishing licenses.