Today is the International Women’s Day. Snowchange celebrates the women involved in the fisheries in the Cooperative together with LIFE – Low Impact Fishers of Europe.
Snowchange fisheries involve many female experts. Noora Huusari, our Head of Human Resources handles our distributions and sales. Minna Kutvonen, a recent addition to staff, fishes professionally in Värtsilä community and is involved in the sales, processing and other parts.
On the ice, Karoliina Lehtimäki is a part of our seining team. She’s a 27-year-old woman, who 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 Noora, 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.
Our 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 the Low Impact Fishers of Europe is running a large story and interview with Karoliina, here.