Puruvesi Scorpena Cup 2023 (Finnish Championship with boats)

19 - 20.08.2023

About the location

Puruvesi Scorpena Cup

Lake Puruvesi, located in Savonlinna, Kerimäki, Punkaharju and Kitee municipalities, is part of Lake Saimaa, the largest lake in Finland. Lake Puruvesi basin, divided from Lake Saimaa by narrow straits, is known of its exceptionally clear water. Lake Puruvesi is ground water influenced and is notably clearer than the rest of Lake Saimaa. Lake Puruvesi has exceptionally clear water for a large lake in Finland.

Healthy fish stocks and clear water create excellent conditions for spearfishing, and Lake Puruvesi is known for exceptionally good catch and trophy fishes among spearous. The area of Lake Puruvesi is approximately 420 km2. The mean depth of Lake Puruvesi is eight meters because of the large shallow water areas of the lake. The Lake also offers deeper areas and the deepest spot is 61 meters.

Lake Puruvesi has remained in natural state in many places and it has characteristics of true wilderness. Vast open waters fragmented by islands and ridges are typical for Lake Puruvesi. Lake Puruvesi has 720 islands and part of them are uninhabited and in natural state. Large part of Lake Puruvesi belongs to Natura 2000 -network, and the Lake Puruvesi Natura-area is established to protect the exceptional ultra oligotrophic vegetation and water quality of the lake. One unique species of Lake Puruvesi is critically endangered Saimaa ringed seal, which is a species adapted to live in fresh water lake after ice age. There are only a bit over 400 Saimaa ringed seals in the world, and the species lives only in Lake Saimaa.

Sustainable spearfishing

Spearfishing is by definition one of the most sustainable forms of fishing; only selected individuals are caught and rapidly dispatched. The competition area is situated in an area where fish stocks are in good condition and the species included in the competition all exhibit highly viable populations. The removal of some species, such as Cyprinids, including the bream (Abramis brama), is encouraged due to their potential role in exacerbating eutrophication in Finnish lakes as a whole.

The competition secretariat has also taken measures to ensure a minimum impact of the competition on the local fish community by limiting the number of pike (Esox lucius) that can be caught. Apex predators are important for controlling bottom feeding, and thus nutrient resuspending, fish species. This is why the secretariat has chosen to limit the number of pikes to 1 per competitor.

All in all, lake Puruvesi is an ideal location for the competition, since all fish stocks allowed in the competition are targeted also by professional fishermen in the lake. The impact of spearfishing on these fish stocks and the livelihood of the fishermen is minimal. All fish caught in the competition will be consumed either as human food or as feed for animals and no fish are wasted or left unused. Thus, ethics and sustainability are the central values of this unique and novel competition format. The lake is a unique environment, and the home of Europe's only freshwater seal, the Saimaa ringed seal (Pusa hispida saimensis), wherefore it is of utmost importance to care for the environment. Spearfishing is a way of caring for the environment while collecting sustainable food from nature. The practitioners of this sport - the so called 'spearos' - are ambassadors of sustainability and respect for nature and all its diversity.

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Photos from 1st CMAS Freshwater Championship 2022 - Puruvesi, Finland