The fishing industry and angling & environmental organisations across Europe are being urged to join a protest against a mining proposal that would endanger the Baltic Salmon population across Scandinavia.
The Board of the Finnish Federation for Recreational Fisheries (FFRF) is making a stand against a proposal by Hannukainen Mining Oy to open a large iron, copper and gold mine in Hannukainen, in the Kolari District of Finland. If plans go through, it would be the largest excavation of its type in Europe, covering 31km2 of active mines.
An Environmental Impact Assessment Report has already been approved by the authorities, but all other permits are pending – a process that could take up to four years.
According to the FFRF the project would endanger the Tornio River salmon stock, the most important in the Baltic Sea. It says that the planned mining area is within the catchment area of the Äkäs River, which is one of the main tributaries of the Tornio.
It also maintains that brown trout would be under threat and that fishing tourism would be harmed in Western Lapland and the Tornio River Valley.
The Federation adds that it is not satisfied with the Environmental Impact Assessment Report, which it says understates the harmful effects on water quality and fish. "Tornio is a border river between Finland and Sweden and the harmful effects on fish stocks concern both countries as well as all those around the Baltic Sea because of the Baltic Salmon," said the FFRF.
Anna Szczodrowska, EFTTA's Environmental and Fisheries Legal Advisor, told Newslines: "News of this proposed project has gone under the radar. It has not received a lot of publicity.
"We are urging organisations to take a stand and get in touch with the FFRF to demonstrate their support of the federation and its efforts to oppose the mining proposals.
"It’s very bad for the industry, the angling tourism and the salmon itself’."