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Finnish appetite for fish wanes as prices rise for imported salmon

People in Finland ate significantly less fish last year than in 2015. According to figures from the natural resources institute Luke, Finland's consumers bought eight percent less fish in 2016, compared to the previous year.

File photo. Image: Sakari Partanen / Yle

On average, each resident of Finland ate about 13 kilograms of fish last year, according to the country's Natural Resources Institute Luke. Approximately one third of that fish was domestic with the remainder imported.

Domestic fish consumption was similar to previous levels, but figures for imported salmon saw steep declines in 2016.

According to Luke's senior statistician Pentti Moilanen one reason salmon has decreased in popularity is likely due to rising prices for the pink, fleshy fish.

Farmed salmon still popular on plates

Moilanen said that Finnish residents ate about 15 percent less salmon in 2016 compared to the year before.

Despite the decline, imported farm-raised salmon is still the most popular fish that people in Finland put on their plates. Residents ate about 3.5 kilos of farmed salmon per capita last year, which is nearly the same amount as the consumed domestic fish.

Following farmed salmon, the next most popular types of fish sold are: canned tuna, farmed rainbow trout, frozen Pollock and various types of prawns.

Sales remain steady for fish caught in Finnish waters and the most popular variety last year was the tiny freshwater vendace (locally known as muikku). The next fishy favourites in Finland were: northern pike, perch, zander, whitefish and Baltic herring.