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Parliamentary questions
27 March 2014
Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

The category of subsistence fisheries that was created in Croatia was in effect a hybrid model between leisure and commercial fisheries which as such does not exist in the EU legislation.

Article 17 of the Mediterranean Regulation(1) requests Member States to ensure that leisure fisheries are conducted in a manner compatible with the sustainable exploitation of living aquatic resources and not significantly interfering with commercial fishing. In particular, Member States need to ensure that catches taken in leisure fisheries are not marketed, with limited exceptions. In addition, the use of certain fishing gears such as nets is prohibited. Leisure fisheries by definition imply all fishing activities intended for recreation and sport. Since leisure fisheries are widespread in the Mediterranean they can have a significant impact on fish resources. Both for reason of conservation and implementation of control and reporting activities the use of nets in leisure fisheries is prohibited.

During the accession negotiations for the EU membership, Croatia has been granted a transitional period where 2000 fishermen may continue to operate in this category and to use nets until 31 December 2014. In parallel, subsistence fishermen have the opportunity to register under the category of commercial fisheries, where the use of nets is allowed

The Commission fully acknowledges the importance of small scale fisheries for local communities, and the provisions of the Mediterranean Regulation and the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) pay special attention to their needs through specific action plans to be included in the operational programmes (Article 20.1 of the EMFF Regulation).

(1)Council Regulation (EC) No 1967/2006 of 21 December 2006.

OJ C 294, 02/09/2014
Last updated: 28 March 2014Legal notice