My name is Sampsa Vilhunen. Fly-fishing and rivers are my number one passion. For me it has never been satisfying just to see the river from the bank, but I need to get inside the element, to wade deep in its currents, to feel the round rocks below my feet and to meet the local inhabitants – the fish.
Passion for fishing that was given to me at home as a small kid, later drove me into studying aquatic science as well, all the way to PhD. I did my doctoral thesis, of course, on fish behavior 😊
For more than a decade I have been leading the marine and freshwater conservation at the WWF Finland. I love my work in general, and particularly the fact that the work of my team is so concrete, really making a difference on the field removing migration obstacles from our running waters, as well as successfully advocating changes in the legislation that improve the status of endangered migratory fish species. For dam removal, our biggest innovation was Patagonia’s Damnation movie, and later we helped in producing a film of the destructive history of hydro power development in Finland as well.
The work on dam removals in Europe is still in the beginning although there are already great results to be seen. The challenge is immense, but so are also the opportunities! We can widely bring back the aquatic environment that was once lost all across Europe because of unsustainable human development. Today the science is telling us that in order for human kind to save itself, half the planet should be set aside for wildlife.
Join us in bringing back nature and wildlife to Europe!