Croatia

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Welcome to the GFCM Database on National Fisheries Legislation

Please read the 'Introduction' in the Main Page before starting.

N.B: the below reported contents are currently subject to revision and will be thus updated in due course.


Contents


For further information, please visit the Fisheries and Aquaculture Country Profile of Croatia in the FAO Website, here

Introduction


Croatia has been a member of the GFCM since the 22nd of May 1995. The country is party to the UN Law of the Sea Convention (5 April 1995) and the UN Fish Stock Agreement of 1995 (13 December 2006). Croatia has not ratified the FAO Compliance Agreement of 1993 and also the FAO Port State Measures Agreement of 2009.

FISHERIES

Fishing capacity is governed by the Regulation on the Register of Croatian fishing fleet amended in 2012 and Regulation on the license for commercial fishing and licence register of 2013. These regulations provide for capacity management, set up the rules for entry/exit into and from the fleet. A system of buy-off of licenses and corresponding capacity has been set up since 2006. Bluefin tuna capacity has been reduced (OJ 26/11, 31/11 and 52/11).
Fishing effort issues are governed by a complex set of spatial and temporal restrictions, resulting in effort management measures (OJ 63/10, 141/10, 148/10 and 52/11). Croatia operates a rather elaborate scheme of closures of areas and fisheries, thus governing the number of days at sea and effort exercised. A system of Total Allowable catches (TACs) is also in place for blufin tuna fishery.


Access regime to fisheries resources

The Regulation on the Borders of the Croatian Fishing Sea of 4 January 2011 provides complete information relative to: the area within the Croatian fishing sea; the exact borders of fishing zones; the borders of fishing sub-zones; the borders of the rivers that flow into the sea. The Croatian fishing sea territory includes the external fishing sea area and inland sea that is separated by a starting lineup. The Annex of the Regulation containing the official maps is an integrated part of this Regulation.

Administrative authorizations and licenses

The Law on Marine Fisheries of 2010 establishes a license system for commercial fishing in Croatian Waters. The fishing license is a document issued to the owner of a fishing vessel and the resulting rights and obligations of fishing on the basis of legal or natural persons may perform commercial fishing team fishing vessel. A licensing system is in place for vessels flying the Croatian flag. In order to obtain the license, the vessel must be registered in Croatian Fishing Fleet Register. Two main instruments: •Ordinance on Fishing Fleet Register of Republic of Croatia (OJ 148/10) •Ordinance on Licenses for commercial fisheries at sea and the Register of licenses issued (OJ 144/10) Sport and recreational fisheries need to be licensed as well, whereas bluefin tuna fishery requires additional fishing authorization. In accordance with the article 106 of the Law foreign legal and natural persons may perform commercial fishing in the area of jurisdiction of the Croatian only on the basis of international obligations by the Republic of Croatia. Foreign scientific organization may carry out fishing for scientific purposes on the basis of a special decision by the Minister, with the specific provisions governing the conduct of scientific activities.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Main fisheries laws and regulations

Conservation and control measures

Restrictions apply on fisheries resources

Area and time restrictions

Croatia has created an Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone (Zaštićeni ekološkoribolovni pojas, ZERP in Croatian) by a decision published on 3 October 2003. Ordinance in fisheries protected areas and special habitats of fish and other marine organisms and on specific fisheries regulation in Velebit Channel, Novigrad and Karin Sea, Lake of Prokljan, Marina Bay and Neretva sea (OJ 148/04, 152/04, 55/05, 96/06, 123/09. and 130/09).

Ordinance on commercial fisheries at sea (OJ 63/10, 141/10, 148/10 and 52/11);

Minimum sizes

The Regulation on the protection of fish and other marine organisms 18 May 2010 last amendmenet in 2012 provides definitions for immature fish and other marine organisms; the minimum size of commercially important species of fish and other marine organisms below which they cannot be caught, collected or put into circulation; the closed seasons for certain species of marine fish and other marine organisms and the time when they cannot be caught, collected or put into circulation.
Immature fish and other marine organisms are considered to be developmental forms of fish and other marine organisms that are below the size prescribed by the provisions of this Regulation. This Regulation further defines the exact size and other technical aspects and standards related to the immature fish and other marine organisms.

- Order on protection of fish and other marine organisms (OJ 63/10, 68/10 and 145/10)

Protected species

This subject is covered by the European Union legislation.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Fishing gear and methods
    • Ordinance on commercial fisheries at sea (OJ 63/10, 141/10, 148/10 and 52/11);
    • Ordinance in fisheries protected areas and special habitats of fish and other marine organisms and on specific fisheries regulation in *Velebit Channel, Novigrad and Karin Sea, Lake of Prokljan, Marina Bay and Neretva sea (OJ 148/04, 152/04, 55/05, 96/06, 123/09. and 130/09);
    • Ordinance on fishing gear and equipment for commercial fisheries at sea (OJ 148/10 and 25/11)
    Togheter, these ordinance form the legal framework for fishing gear.

Requirements due to fishing vessels

Register

Article 9 of the Regulation on the Register of Croatian fishing fleet, 30 December 2010, provides for the content and manner of keeping the Register of the national (Croatian) fishing fleet, administrative requirements, international organizations standards implementation, the way for the data exchange with the competent services of the European Commission; and the layout and the presentation of the official certificates.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Reporting obligation

Regulation on the Form, Content and Method of Records Delivery, Landing Declarations and Reports on Catch in Commercial Marine Fisheries, 15 December 2010
Fishermen are obliged to submit logbooks and catch reports to the field offices of the Directorate of Fisheries (DoF). Logbooks are filled in 5 copies – one has to stay on board, one is submitted to DoF and 3 are passed on to the first buyer.
Catch data from commercial fisheries are checked and controlled in the field offices, and then entered via a WEB application directly to a database on the central server. Data is entered per vessel as listed in the Croatian Fishing Fleet Register. Since each licence is linked with a vessel, this also means that data are entered per each license.
The application has an automatic control routine that checks for data errors as well as an analytical system that at each given moment can provide information on catch and effort based on several variables (per vessel, per fishing zone, per gear, per types of vessels, per types of catch etc.)
In the Republic of Croatia there is a legal obligation for all license holders and all vessels to submit catch data, regardless of the vessel length.
• Commercial fishing licence holders with vessels over 10m in length have to keep the logbook. Data has to be entered in a timely manner and in any case prior to landing.
• In 2009. DoF has started with the pilot project of introduction of electronic logbook for BFT purse seiners longer than 24 meters. • The implementation of electronic logbook coverage of all vessels longer than 15 meters.
• Introduction of electronic logbook enable easy cross-checks with VMS data and first sales data.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Marking

This subject is covered by European Union legislation.

Landing of catch

The Croatian catch certificate has the follow information:
• Fishing vessel information – name, VMS, home port, master, fishing licence
• Product information – FAO codem specises, date of catch, landing, weight
• Expoter information – name, adress, transport details
• Authority validation

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Observers

- Inspections
In addition to these inspectors, fisheries inspectors of the MAFRD are also authorized to conduct such inspection. However, the tasks of inspection at sea are divided among Maritime police, Port Authorities, Fisheries Inspection and Coast Guard of Republic of Croatia. Marine Fisheries Act ( 81/2013,14/2014, 152/2014)
Misdemeaner law ( 107/2007,39/2013,157/2013
Criminal law ( 125/2011,144/2012)

Vessel Monitoring System

The VMS system of Croatia is compliante with EU regulation. Croatia use a GIRS (GeoInformation Fisheries System that controle several elements. The Fisheries Moniting Center (FMC) have the complete history of the vessel equipped with a VMS.

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject

Sanctions

The Marine Fisheries Act stipulates different levels of sanctions:

  • fines
  • seizures
  • misdemeanour (minor) offences
  • major offences
  • criminal procedures

Relevant GFCM Decisions on this subject
REC. GFCM/33/2009/8 on the establishment of a list of vessels presumed to have carried out IUU fishing in the GFCM area


Principal Legal Measures on Monitoring, Control and Surveillance

Logbook
Regulation on the Form, Content and Method of Records Delivery, Landing Declarations and Reports on Catch in Commercial Marine Fisheries, 15 December 2010
Landing of catch
European Union Legislation
International Agreements Council Regulation of 20 June 2011 on the approval, on behalf of the European Union, of the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (2011/443/EU)

Source FAOLEX


AQUACULTURE


Section under construction


Sources: Official Gazette of the Republic of Croatia: http://narodne-novine.nn.hr/;LaMed Questionnaire