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Helsinki Baltic Herring Market opens on Sunday

The Market Square is to host 26 fishermen from all over Finland at this year’s Helsinki Baltic Herring Market from 2 to 8 October. A special panel of judges will choose the best products on the opening day of the event, on Sunday, 2 October.  Besides fishing boats, four traditional sailing boats – Albanus, Olga, Vivan and Valborg – will also drop anchor at the Market Square for the duration of the event.

True to its long tradition, the Helsinki Baltic Herring Market will kick off in the Market Square on the first Sunday of October and continue all the way through to the following Saturday. 

Mayor Juhana Vartiainen will open the Helsinki Baltic Herring Market from the deck of the sailing boat Vivan at 10 am on Sunday, 2 October, and the traditional charity boat race ‘Herring Row’ will finish at the Lyypekinlaituri pier with music from the Helsinki Finnish Club brass band at midday. Also setting a nautical atmosphere for the event will be accordion music on the opening day and a music show by the performance art theatre company Meriteatteri on Wednesday, 5 October, featuring songs by actor-musicians Antti Autio and Vera Veiskola.

The best Baltic herring products of the year announced come from Tirmo and Taivassalo

A panel of judges comprising food industry professionals and sworn Baltic herring aficionados will again convene on the opening day of the market to pick the best products in two categories: Baltic Herring Surprise of the Year and Pickled Fish of the Year. The winners announced from the deck of the sailing boat Vivan on Sunday.

This year’s esteemed judges are Deputy Mayor Daniel Sazonov, Fisheries Biologist Malin Lönnroth from the Federation of Finnish Fisheries Associations, Head of Programme at WWF Finland and member of the Kalakumous (‘Fish Revolution’) project Sampsa Vilhunen, Benjamin Skwarek from the Helsinki Youth Council, Executive Director of the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland Sören Lillkung, Marjukka Mikkola from the Uusimaa Martha District Association, Senior Specialist Elina Ovaskainen from the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Journalist Jonas von Wendt for the Hufvudstadsbladet newspaper, Head Chef at Finlandia Hall Mika Jokela and Specialist of Food and Home Economics Viivi Maskulin.

The Helsinki Baltic Herring Market will be located in the Market Square from Sunday, 2 October to Saturday, 8 October 2022. The stalls will be open from 9 am to 7 pm from Sunday to Friday and from 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday. Immediately after the Helsinki Baltic Herring Market on Sunday, 9 October, the Market Square will host the 35th Traditional Sailing Day.

Cleaner Baltic Sea

First held in Helsinki in 1743, the Helsinki Baltic Herring Market is one of the oldest public events in Finland. The Helsinki Baltic Herring Market participates in the EcoCompass environmental system. The City of Helsinki is also one of the initiators of the Baltic Sea Challenge, an open international network for saving the Baltic Sea and local waters.

The fishermen who participate in the Market catch and sell over 16 000 kg worth of herring every year. Herring is an important part of the marine ecosystem, and fishing it in a sustainable manner and in right quotas prevents eutrophication of the Baltic Sea.

Everyday choices such as eating habits have a significant impact on the Baltic Sea, and one of the easiest ways to help clean the Baltic is to keep herring and locally caught fish on your plate!

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Photo: Eetu Ahanen

The article
was published on 21 September and updated on 30 September and  on 5  October.