Monday, 10 February 2020

EC Scraps Plan for Small Pelagic Fish Quota; MEP Tomašić's Victory?

ZAGREB, February 10, 2020 - The European Commission has decided to withdraw its draft measure that should have introduced quotas for small pelagic fish in the Adriatic Sea, and some of the credit for that goes to MEP Ruža Tomašić, the Zagreb-based daily Večernji List reported on Monday.

Ruža Tomašić was the European Parliament's rapporteur for that matter in 2017 when she pushed for a report with draft amendments she sponsored which eventually changed the European Commission's initial plan.

The new European Commission led by President Ursula von der Leyen has recently decided to withdraw the draft regulation about the small pelagic fish quota in the Adriatic Sea from the procedure. The reason for dropping the planned quotas is that the EC does not expect agreement on the issue.

In mid-November 2018, the European Parliament adopted a report which Croatian MEP Ruža Tomašić submitted on the Multiannual plan for small pelagic stocks in the Adriatic Sea and the fisheries exploiting those stocks, whereby measures for replenishing the stocks in the Adriatic are suggested, instead of the imposition of quotas for the catch as proposed by the European Commission, which would seriously affect the fishing industry in Croatia.

At that time, Tomašić explained that the imposed quota would have restricted the catch in the whole of the Adriatic Sea to 50,000 tonnes of small pelagic fish annually, whereas Croatia's catch was about 60,000 tonnes and the amount in the region now stood at 100,000 tonnes. Another Croatian MEP, Ivan Jakovčić, endorsed Tomašić's report and called on the EC to pursue a policy that would be beneficial to the Adriatic fishermen. He explained that the introduction of the quotas as proposed by the EC would have been detrimental to the blue growth in the Adriatic region.

Dubravka Šuica, who was also one Croatia's 11 MEPs in 2018, reported that she supported Tomašić's reports and that she had not endorsed the EC's proposal for incorporating a set of measures into a multi-annual plan for the Adriatic Sea that would manage the fisheries in the Adriatic Sea based on the Biomass Escapement Strategy and a quota system.

Tomašić told the Večernji List daily on Monday that she was satisfied that there would be no prescribed quotas for small pelagic fish in the Adriatic.

More news about European Parliament can be found in the Politics section.

Monday, 6 January 2020

Croatia's Gilt-Head Sea Bream and Branzino Sought-After More and More in EU

ZAGREB, January 6, 2020 - The gilt-head sea bream also called Orata and the sea bass also known by its Italian name branzino are exported more and more from Croatia to the European Union's market, while the top exporting fish from Croatia to Japan is tuna, according to the data provided by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) on Monday.

In the first eight months of 2019, Croatia exported fresh or chilled Atlantic bluefin tuna in the amount of 2,800 tonnes, worth 31.2 million euro, as against 33.9 million euro for 3,000 tonnes exported in the whole of 2018.

In 2018, the value of the export of fish and other seafood products, including Ostracods, sometimes known as seed shrimps, and molluscs, was 170.4 million euro (47,000 tonnes). Of that amount, the export of fresh or chilled fish made up 108 million euro (21,000 tonnes).

Apart from tuna, which is exported to Japan in large quantities, 4,300 of fresh or chilled branzino were exported to the European Union in 2018, and the value of this export stood at 26.4 million euro.

The export value of 3,800 tonnes of gilt-head sea bream was 23.6 million euro.

Also, Croatia exported sardines in the amount of 4,500 tonnes, worth 3.6 million euro, and 2,200 tonnes of anchovies, worth 3.5 million euro.

In the first eight months of 2019, the total value of the export of fish and seafood products came to 121.1 million euro.

The major markets for the export are Japan, as the most important destination for Croatian tuna, while within the EU, Italy, Slovenia and Spain are the main export destinations for fresh and salted fishery products.

More fisheries news can be found in the Business section.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Fish Farming Not Developed Enough in Croatia

ZAGREB, June 10, 2019 - Croatia has great potential in freshwater fish farming, but it does not make sufficient use of it, as evidenced by low fish consumption, it was heard during a recent parliamentary discussion on the final bill on freshwater fish farming.

Out of eight kilos of fish consumed per capita in Croatia annually, a mere one kilo is freshwater fish, Alen Prelec of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) said during the parliamentary debate.

For the sake of comparison, 55 kilos of fish is consumed annually per capita in Portugal, he added.

He also noted that data on domesticated carp for the 2015-2016 period showed that the area of freshwater farms had increased. However, there were fewer and fewer domesticated fish. He wondered whether this might be evidence of the purchase of carp on the grey market.

Anđelko Stričak of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) said that until 1991 Croatia produced 15,000 tonnes of farmed fish annually, whereas currently the annual production of farmed freshwater fish is 4,000 tonnes.

He said that there are a number of reasons for this situation, including complications in registration of ownership, freshwater farms and agricultural land, revenue declines, and higher prices of raw material.

More news about agriculture and fishing can be found in the Business section.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Fisheries and Aquaculture Strategically Important Sectors

ZAGREB, May 14, 2019 - Fisheries and aquaculture are strategically important sectors in Croatia and important factors in preventing a population decline in island communities, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said at a conference on fisheries in the central Adriatic town of Šibenik on Monday.

The conference, taking place on Monday and Tuesday, is being attended by representatives of ministries and institutions relevant for the sea and fisheries sectors and the scientific community.

The event was opened by Plenković who said that the fisheries strategy was a branch of industry, a pillar of the economy in coastal Croatia and an important development factor in all coastal counties.

Plenković said the conference would focus on what is the most important for the present and future of Croatia's fisheries, namely sustainability. "Primarily, this means responsible management of fish stocks, the preservation of the marine environment and a fair distribution of resources. Fisheries as a branch of the economy is very important for the island population. It employs approximately 12,000 people and is one of the main factors that prevent the depopulation of island communities," Plenković said.

According to the figures presented at the conference, Croatia's fishing fleet comprises more than 200 vessels, and the industry directly employs over 1,400 people. There are another 3,300 people in the fish processing industry. The country also has a fleet of 350 trawlers. Total annual production in aquaculture (freshwater and saltwater) amounts to over 17,000 tonnes, worth EUR 100 million.

Agriculture Minister Tomislav Tolušić said there was no alternative to the sustainability of fisheries.

The event was also attended by Defence Minister Damir Krstičević and Šibenik-Knin County Prefect Goran Pauk.

More fishing news can be found in the Business section.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Fishing Monitoring Equipment Presented in Šibenik

ZAGREB, May 13, 2019 – The new fishing monitoring system was presented in Šibenik on Monday, with Agriculture Minister Tomislav Tolušić saying other countries hardly had the kind of surveillance equipment Croatia had.

The equipment including drones, boats, vehicles and cameras as well as a fully digitised fishing centre was also seen by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Defence Minister Damir Krstičević, Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Gabrijela Žalac and local officials.

Croatia is on the vanguard in the Mediterranean when it comes to the protection of one's own sea resources, Tolušić said, adding that surveillance equipment worth 75 million kuna was purchased over the past two years.

He said the drones, cameras and boats covered all of the Adriatic and that a majority had been financed with EU funds. "It's everything the fishing inspectorate is doing to protect our fish resources and fishermen," he said, adding that the system would be modernised further.

The drones presented today will be used to monitor the sea 60% of the time and in firefighting the rest of the time, it was said.

"Although last year we invested over HRK 20 million in thermographic cameras all over the Adriatic, this is an additional possibility to raise our firefighting readiness," said Tolušić.

Mario Rogošić of the Fishing Authority said the goal was to protect the fishermen who fished legally and punish those who did not. There are 3,500 commercial fishermen in Croatia and 70,000 permits are sold for recreational fishing, he added.

Today and tomorrow Šibenik is hosting a fishing conference.

More fishing news can be found in the Business section.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Croatian Fish Are Finding The Adriatic A Bit Roomy

December 18, 2018 — The marine ecosystem is threatened throughout the Mediterranean — including the Adriatic — experts warned HRT. A large number of commercial Croatian fish species are barely surviving. Experts suggest protective measures would help stem the dying out of the species left in the sea.

"Ninety-three per cent of all estimated fish stocks or resources that exist in the Mediterranean Sea, including the Adriatic Sea, are in a very bad state, meaning that people have been able to push the marine ecosystems to the limit," says Danijel Kanski, a program manager for the World Wildlife Fund Adria.

The scampi population, for example, has taken a significant hit. The shellfish have all but disappeared from fishing nets. Their place at the table usurped by the abundant and much cheaper shrimp.

Even professionals who live off of wild-caught Croatian fish are seeking protective measures, according to Petar Baranović, a Sibenik-based fisherman with a marine fishery degree.

"There is one 'no-take' zone - with an absolute ban on fishing in the international waters of the Jabuka Canyon," he said. "It's showing results that are visible in the recovery of scampi and hake."

The Jabuka Canyon is a hatchery for many marine species, including scampi. The ban on fishing led to an immediate rejuvenation.

Full nets are now more frequent, and the specimens larger.

Changing the mentality, education and cooperation of fishermen, science and the responsible ministries is key, experts suggest. But the bigger problem remains illegally-caught fish, which get sold directly to caterers off the books.

"We have 12 fishing inspectors on the entire Croatian coast, and we have 250 landing ports along the Croatian Adriatic coast," Kanski said.

Concern continues to grow over the most important type of commercial Croatian fish - sardines. Protective measures were instituted, including an annual ban during the winter.

On December 16 this year, the ban on fishing sardines was introduced for larger vessels. Smaller boats, however, can continue fishing until Christmas Eve.

Whether the protective measures will work remains to be seen. But experts suggest even small; targeted bans will make a big difference.

Follow news about the Croatian fishing industry on TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

European Parliament Supports Croatian MEP to Protect Adriatic Fish

ZAGREB, November 13, 2018 - The European Parliament on Tuesday adopted a report which Croatian MEP Ruža Tomašić submitted on the Multiannual plan for small pelagic stocks in the Adriatic Sea and the fisheries exploiting those stocks, whereby measures for replenishing the stocks in the Adriatic are suggested, instead of the imposition of quotas for the catch of Adriatic fish as proposed by the European Commission, which would seriously affect the fishing industry in Croatia.

"I knew that it would be tough, but we have succeeded. The European Parliament has been the last defence line and our diligent work has halted the Commission's harmful proposal that would have had a devastating effect on Croatia's fisheries, the fish processing industry, tuna fisheries and coastal communities living off fisheries," Tomašić said after her report was endorsed.

She explained that the imposed quota would have restricted the catch in the whole of the Adriatic Sea to 50,000 tonnes of small pelagic fish annually, whereas Croatia's current catch is about 60,000 tonnes and the amount in the region now stands at 100,000 tonnes.

Another Croatian MEP, Ivan Jakovčić, endorsed Tomašić's report and called on the EC to pursue a policy that would be beneficial to the Adriatic fishermen. He explained that the introduction of the quotas as proposed by the EC would have been detrimental to the blue growth in the Adriatic region.

Dubravka Šuica, also one Croatia's 11 MEPs, reported that she supported Tomašić's reports and that she had not endorsed the EC's proposal for incorporating a set of measures into a multi-annual plan for the Adriatic Sea that would manage the fisheries in the Adriatic Sea based on the Biomass Escapement Strategy and a quota system.

For more on the European Parliament and the activities of the members elected in Croatia, click here.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Croatian Museum of Maritime Culture To Open In Zadar

September 11, 2018 — The Croatian Museum of Maritime Culture, pushed by famed architect Nikola Bašić, could shine a spotlight on the region's like history of maritime and fishing culture while revitalizing some neglected spaces in Zadar.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

"Fišijada" to Bring Together 200 Masters of Fish Stew

“Fiš” is a popular fish stew prepared in the Baranja region.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Israeli Drones to Monitor Fishing in Adriatic

ZAGREB, May 15, 2018 - The Croatian Ministry of Agriculture and the Israeli company Aeronautics on Tuesday signed an agreement valued at 4.87 million euro, 70% of which will be financed from EU funds, for the procurement of drones to monitor fishing activities.

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