Sverker Lovén, chairman of Fiskefrämjandet, a fish-promotion association, has carried out a detailed investigation into the disappearance of several breeds of fish in the waters outside the capital, most noticeably perch and pike.
He has come to the conclusion that if something is not done about the number of seals preying on the fish, there is a good chance they will eventually die out altogether.
”All indications suggest that seals and cormorants are the cause of the collapse of fish stocks. Perch and pike have completely disappeared from some parts of the archipelago,” said Loven to Metro newspaper.
Another fish under threat is the trout.
”The recapture of trout we have tagged, has decreased by around 90 percent in the past ten years and the stock of adult trout as a whole has decreased to the same extent,” he added.
Despite the fact that this could signal overfishing, the number of people fishing in the archipelago over the same period has declined sharply.
By killing more seals, a major problem could therefore be avoided in years to come, argues Lovén.
Seals consume some 25-50 tonnes of fish on a daily basis, while cormorants devour some 15-18 tonnes, meaning that, at the current rate, it is impossible for fish stocks to replenish.