Concerned about the decline in the population of the Saimaa ringed seals, Finnish authorities have successfully deployed conservation efforts to boost the number of semi-aquatic marine mammals, including imposing stricter restrictions on net fishing.
In 2022, an estimated 92 seal pups will be born, exceeding last year’s new record of 90 pups born in the Saimaa Lake region.
Between 2012 and 2017, fishing nets contributed to the loss of a yearly average of seven ringed seals. Since the imposition of tighter restrictions on the fishing method, those numbers dropped; so far this year, only two similar deaths were reported. The population of the Saimaa ringed seal increased by 5.6% on a yearly basis between 2015 and 2020. Thanks to an annual live stream hosted by the World Wildlife Fund – and viewed by millions of people every year – the highly-endangered species gained widespread attention.