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Best results achieved by cooperation in the restoration of migratory fish

A pioneering collaboration is currently underway to help the Iijoki river’s migratory fish. PVO-Vesivoima has made a commitment to the collaboration, aimed at promoting the restoration of the migratory fish’s natural cycle. The petition to amend fish-related obligations, announced by the Regional State Administrative Agency, is not the best possible way of encouraging the fish’s restoration.

On Finland's Iijoki river, an exceptional collaboration – even by international standards – is taking place to benefit the river and its migratory fish. Participants in the collaboration include the company PVO-Vesivoima Oy, the municipalities of Ii, Oulu, Pudasjärvi, Taivalkoski and Kuusamo, Metsähallitus (forestry administrative body), the Council of Oulu Region, Finland’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Iijoen Vesistön Kalastusalue (the Iijoki Waters Fishing Region), and Natural Resources Institute Finland.   

“Our aim is to work together to build a fish passage, based on the best techniques currently available, at the downstream power plant on the Iijoki river, and then build a downstream migration solution at the upstream plant. Finland’s best experts and researchers are involved in the effort. From all these pieces, we will gain valuable knowledge that we can utilise with other power plants, both on the Iijoki and elsewhere,” says Pertti Pietinen, Managing Director of PVO-Vesivoima Oy.    

“A full three years ago, PVO-Vesivoima Oy and Metsähallitus applied for a permit to build a fish passage at the Raasakka power plant. Regrettably, the permit has still not been granted, and we’ve been unable to start construction. However, we have made progress with the downstream migration solution. The first guide fence in Finland for migratory salmon fry (smolts) was introduced last summer. Natural Resources Institute Finland is undertaking studies to investigate the fence’s functionality and the measures needed to develop it further. After this, the aim is to implement an entire downstream migration lane with catch devices for Haapakoski.”  

“In our efforts to restore the migratory fish, I’m convinced that we will achieve the best and fastest result by taking gradual steps forward and using many different tools. The basis for everything is research-based knowledge. This wide-ranging collaboration on the Iijoki is also the best way to meet the spirit and aims of the Fish Passage Strategy.”   

Recently announced petition makes impossible demands and does not serve the migratory fish’s interests  

Today, the Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland announced a change application by the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY)  for Lapland to amend the stocking and fish stock management obligations of the Iijoki river hydropower plants.  

“Lapland ELY is not acting in these fish’s interests, because – among other reasons – they are not providing the ability to seek out the best solutions, which can be achieved through research, step-by-step progress, and fruitful collaboration. We consider this petition unreasonable, and find its demands to be beyond anything it has been possible to achieve in the past,” Pietinen says. 

“We now have the opportunity to familiarise ourselves with the public notice and its associated material, and prepare our own objection on the matter,” Pietinen adds. 

Further information:  Pertti Pietinen, Managing Director, PVO-Vesivoima Oy, tel. +358 40 581 4726 

Interview requests: Kirsi Marttila, tel. +358 50 303 8688 

PVO-Vesivoima Oy is a company in the Pohjolan Voima Group, which owns and maintains hydropower plants on the Kemijoki, Iijoki, Kokemäenjoki and Tengeliönjoki rivers. We own 8 power plants, and have an additional 4 that are cooperatively owned. These plants’ total power output is 541 megawatts. Our average annual electricity production is 1.7 TWh. www.pohjolanvoima.fi,Twitter: @PVOVesivoima