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Meet Karoliina - one of our two professional fisherwomen

As part of yesterday's International Women's Day celebrations, the Low Impact Fishers of Europe (LIFE) highlighted Karoliina's remarkable journey into becoming a professional winter seiner: "Karoliina Lehtimäki, a 27-year-old woman, could never have imagined taking up fishing as a profession. However, fate had other plans for her. It all started during the 2021 winter seining fishing season when her friend from university, who worked for the Snowchange Cooperative, asked her to help in cleaning vendace, a local commercial fish species. Although she had no idea about this task, Karoliina agreed to help out.

While they were learning the art of cleaning vendace by hand, Karoliina’s friend Noora told her more about seine fishing in Finland, especially in Lake Puruvesi. Karoliina was fascinated and joined the seine cleaning crew a few times this winter to learn more about the process.

Today Karoliina is already in her second winter as a member of the seining crew. Under the guidance of Lauri Hämäläinen, the crew leader, she is well on her way to becoming immersed in the fishing profession. Henri Leskinen, who only fishes in winter, is also part of the team. Together they fish at Lake Puruvesi in eastern Finland, which is known for its clear water and centuries-old tradition of winter seining.

Their winter seining season lasts from early January to early April, depending on ice conditions. During the open water season, which usually lasts from March to November, they switch to fishing with traps and gillnets. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, LIFE spoke with Karoliina to learn about this tradition and her perspective on the fishing way of life and her role in Puruvesi." Read Karoliina's interview here.

Karoliina is, however, not the only fisherwoman in our fishing crew. In February we welcomed Minna Kutvonen to the team. Minna practices gill net fishing in the Värtsilä region and participates in fish processing and sales. Thank you for joining, Minna!


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