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First co-managed fishery area adopted by law in Croatia

Croatia’s government has adopted the first fishery management plans for the Telašćica and Lastovo Islands nature parks

These include also the first fishing no-take zones ever agreed with fishers in Croatia and a number of additional measures that reduce the fishing effort (beach seines and all active gear removed, gears reduced in length and numbers).

The areas are the only marine nature parks in Croatia and were declared to protect the rich biodiversity of the sites, which are also home to highly prized commercial fish species like big crabs, scorpion fish and groupers. 

This success is the result of the work WWF has done with local small-scale fisheries over the last 4 years adopting a co-management approach.

"This is a great victory! For the first time we brought to Croatia a no-take zone in cooperation with fishers who agreed to the measures, and in some cases even proposed them, in order to preserve the resource from which they live. The Regulation was adopted through the cooperation of state institutions, local fishers and their associations, as well as associations dealing with the conservation of the Adriatic. We hope that this will inspire others to follow, especially when they will see the effects of such measures on the rebuilding of the fish stock, "said Mosor Prvan from WWF Adria. 

The co-management approach promoted by WWF helped bring all parties to a consensus on measures that could not be agreed upon for many years, even in protected areas.

"It's all about building trust. Fisher doesn’t even trust another fisher, let alone the institutions. However, step by step, things are improving and now we have a Regulation that is far from being perfect or to everyone’s satisfaction, but it is the fruit of a consensus and a good start ", adds Prvan.

The co-management approach is promoted by WWF in other areas of the Mediterranean, as part of a large regional project aimed at transforming small-scale fisheries.

More information on SSF project here.
© Darko Mihalić
Fishermen in Telascica, Croatia.

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