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Sotilasalus matkalla ilta-auringossa. Kuva Puolustusvoimat, Esa Syvänen.

Protected areas of the Finnish Navy

Protected areas are important for national security and the organisation of regional surveillance, and their boundaries are clearly defined parts of Finland's territorial waters.

Finland's 18 protected areas are located in the Gulf of Finland and the Archipelago Sea. The Act on Area Monitoring contains provisions on protected areas and restrictions on the activities of protected areas, the purpose of which is to safeguard Finland's territorial integrity.

In protected areas, there is usually a military zone with a 100-meter restraining order. The area is marked with signs prohibiting disembarkation. This limits anchorage in the area.

Activities subject to authorisation in protected zones

Perform diving or other underwater activities not normally involved in shipping, such as anchoring buoys to the bottom, lowering cables, extracting bottom materials and dumping them.

Fishing with bottom-pulling or heavy bottom-anchoring gear such as seines, trawls or traps;

The restriction does not apply to angling, ice fishing, lure fishing or fishing with catsa trees, pots, conventional traps or nets.

Anchorage outside anchorages marked on Finnish charts other than by pleasure craft, unless this is necessary for maritime safety, force majeure or exceptional circumstances. A recreational craft is a boat with a hull length of less than 24 metres intended for sports and leisure use.

Movement on ice or in public waters outside public waterways 100 metres closer to the land areas of the Defence Forces where disembarkation is prohibited by law.


The permit requirement does not apply to movement on private waters or on marked waterways that go 100 metres closer to military areas in protected areas. An access card issued for a military zone within a protected zone entitles the holder to move within that zone of one hundred metres.

The permit requirement does not apply to the authority when the authority is performing its duties in the protected area. However, the military or border guard authorities must be informed without delay.

Surface diving with snorkel equipment, for example, does not require a permit.

To note

Please note that when you carry out activities that require a permit in the protected area, you must have a permit and an identity card issued by the supervisory authority, which you must present to the regional supervisory authority in supervisory tasks upon request.

A protection zone permit granted under the Counties Act does not exempt you from the obligation to apply for a permit required for the desired activity on the basis of other legislation. In addition, permission from the regional or local authorities of the Finnish Defence Forces is required when moving within a military area.

Live fire shootings in maritime areas

The Finnish Defence Forces provide information on live fire shootings in sea areas on its website and via YLE. Shooting bulletins indicate the area where you are not allowed to enter during shooting. The shootings are constantly monitored to prevent bystanders from inadvertently entering the danger zone.

If there is anything in the firing range that does not belong there, the shooting is stopped immediately to avoid injury. However, plan your route so that you do not move near the danger zone.

The exercise leader provides more information about the shooting. If you have questions, please contact the firing unit. The device's contact information and phone can be found in the shooting bulletin.