Mammals

The Grey seal and the Baltic ringed seal often live on cobs and islets in the archipelago. In the past, the seals were common prey due to their meat, skin and blubber. But as a result of elevated levels of various pollutants, the seal population declined a lot in the 1950s and 1960s. And now that environmental toxins have decreased, the number of seals has also increased. Fishermen do not always view the growing seal population with approval. Seals trouble fishermen by taking fish right out of the nets, among other things. After the seal’s treatment, fishing nets are often destroyed. Solutions to these problems are actively sought by developing various seal-proof fishing gear. Within the World Heritage Area, west of Valsörarna, is one of Finland's seven seal sanctuaries, Snipansgrund-Medelkallan.

Image: Baltic ringed seal (Pusa hispida botnica)

Sources

Forststyrelsen. 2010. Skötsel- och användningsplan för Kvarkens yttre skärgård, förslag

Hietikko-Hautala T. 2010. Jääkauden jälkinäytös – Merenkurkun saariston maailmanperintö. Waasa Graphics, Vasa

Rassi P., Hyväringen E., Juslén A., Mannerkoski l. 2010. Suomen lajien uhanalaisuus – Punainen kirja 2010. Miljöministeriet och Finlands miljöcentral, Helsingfors

Rinkineva L., Bader P. 1998. Kvarkens natur. Kvarkenrådets publikationer 10, Vasa