LUKE produces information for the sustainable use of natural resources

The Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) is a research and expert organisation operating under the Finnish Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry. It seeks research-based solutions to promote the sustainable development of the bioeconomy and new industries, as well as the sustainable use of natural resources.

LUKE conducts multidisciplinary marine research

The marine research conducted by LUKE is carried out in the Blue Bioeconomy Research Programme. The main research topics are fisheries and the sustainable use of aquatic ecosystems, aquaculture, and value-added products from aquatic resources. Other themes involve breeding and genomics, i.e. the study of an organism’s genes to identify their combined influence on the growth and development of that organism.

The task of multidisciplinary and collaborative research is to strive towards the sustainable exploitation of the great potential of the Baltic Sea. Such research will create the conditions for a viable fishing industry, as well as water-related leisure and wellbeing services.

Research safeguards future fish stocks and economic activities

LUKE produces research data on the sustainable use of fishery resources. This includes monitoring and managing the status of fish stocks. The information will serve, among other things, to meet the needs of determining fish catch quotas of the European Union and to guide other fisheries regulations.

Research which promotes livelihoods, namely commercial fishing and fish farming, will reconcile the conservation of wild fish stocks and the continuity of economic activities in the most environmentally sustainable manner possible.

Similarly, research data is also utilised to meet the needs of maritime spatial planning.

LUKE has many statutory regulatory duties

In addition to research work, the Natural Resources Institute Finland has statutory regulatory duties, such as monitoring natural resources, preserving genetic resources, supporting natural resource policy, and producing official statistics for both Finnish food and resources.

A part of the public authority tasks of LUKE involves making status evaluations of the most economically important fish stocks and the factors which affect them. The status of fishery resources is monitored by tracking catches by commercial fishermen and from research expeditions by the RV Aranda. Other monitoring methods include the supervision of migratory fish ascending rivers to spawn and their juveniles, as well as experimental net fishing along the coast.

The most important monitoring obligations are based on the EU fisheries data collection, the EU Marine Strategy Directive and the EU Water Framework Directive.

In addition, Luke monitors the development of the water-based industries as part of its statistical work.