Welcoming the adoption, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella stressed the programme's contribution to sustainable growth: "This investment package for Croatian fisheries is an important EU contribution that will benefit Croatian fishermen, fish farmers and fishing communities alike. Funds will be used for projects that generate opportunities for jobs and growth, while ensuring environmental and social sustainability in coastal areas."
The adopted operational programme (OP) is in line with the priorities of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and the EU's Common Fisheries Policy and Integrated Maritime Policy. It aims at enhancing environmentally sustainable, resource efficient, innovative, competitive and knowledge based fisheries and aquaculture in Croatia, as well as promoting blue growth and maritime skills and knowledge.
In particular, the funding will contribute to limiting the impact of fishing activities on the marine environment, enhancing marine biodiversity and balancing fishing capacity of the Croatian fleet with available fishing opportunities.
The funds will flow to projects that improve the livelihood of fishing communities through the setting up of Community-Led Local Development groups (CLLD) and the creation of Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs). The programme also aims at improving the market organisation of fisheries products, e.g. by establishing the first producers' organisations in Croatia.