On the 5th of September the CHERISH project partners travelled to Tornio, Finland where Snowchange Cooperative, the advisory partner for traditional ecological knowledge, organised a workshop on TEK issues.
The first day’s location was the harbour of Puotikari, owned and operated by Captain Arto Ponkala, and located by the North Baltic. Tero Mustonen from the Kesälahti Fish Base and the Snowchange Co-op presented summaries of TEK work that he had led with Snowchange. This worked to stimulate the co-learning processes of the CHERISH partners, after which all regions presented on their views of the TEK work within CHERISH.
On the second day, after a reflective morning session at the Puotikari harbour, the CHERISH team went on board Captain Ponkala's vessel to observe contemporary fishing techniques of the Tornio river delta. Seeing first-hand the push up fish traps that are used to catch whitefish in the North Baltic.
Mats Innala, a professional fisherman from Sweden demonstrated the fish traps for the CHERISH partners and shared some comments on the situation of fisheries in the region. The day was then devoted to an excursion into the Perämeri Marine National Park. This area is famous for the phenomenon of post-glacial rebound, creating new islands in the North Baltic. The CHERISH team landed on the island of Selkäsarvi to review cultural heritage of the seasonal Finnish fishing communities, their harvest locations, pine log buildings and traditional knowledge. The day ended with a on location cruise across the Haparanda archipelago.
An example of the deep-rooted cultural heritage that exists within the CHERISH partner region were presented by our Mallorca partners. These were of their own good practice for maintaining and promoting place names and their significance to the fishing culture of the island. And their efforts to defend against loss, the skills of the shipwrights able to build the Latin sailing boat unique to the Island of Mallorca.
Snowchange hopes to support the CHERISH partners throughout the future of the project with: continued co-learning between partner regions on TEK issues; the production of case studies by partners highlighting best practices of TEK; and also to help with strategies to engage the young people of their region in the preservation of their own TEK.