The Slovenia Times

Slovenia enforcing sea border with fines for Croatian fishermen


The Slovenian Interior Ministry has confirmed that Slovenian police have started treating Croatian vessels on 30 December, the deadline for implementation preparations, in line with the provisions of the foreigners act.

The fine for illegal entry into Slovenian waters stands between EUR 500 and EUR 1,200, while fishermen fishing illegally or denying access to inspectors are even looking at fines of up to EUR 41,000.

The latter is treated as a grave violation of the EU's common fisheries policy and necessitates informing the European Commission, the newspaper Delo has reported.

The key issue for the Croatian fishermen, many of whom have family on the Slovenian side or would like to cross Slovenia to for instance get to the fish market in Trieste, is that Slovenia can deny them entry if they refuse to pay the fines.

Slovenia's readiness to follow through has been confirmed for the STA by Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec, who said "those who do not pay will definitely have problems if they will want to enter Slovenia".

While Croatian fishermen could obtain permits for fishing in Slovenia in line with EU rules that allow for up to 25 Croatian vessels in Slovenian waters and a landed catch of up to 100 tonnes of fish per year, Croatia is insisting on a 50:50 division of the bay and is refusing to acknowledge the border arbitration decision.

The strict enforcement of the border however seems to be already impacting the Croatian fishermen, with only one of them venturing into Slovenian waters in the company of two Croatian police boats on Wednesday to immediately be confronted by Slovenian police.

While Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković indicated today that Croatia would retaliate by applying the same regime for Slovenian fishermen, the situation has stirred debate in Croatia and meetings have been scheduled today between Croatian fishermen and Croatian government officials.


More from Nekategorizirano