The Slovenia Times

Details reported of draft agreement on fishing in Bay of Piran


Zagreb - Večernji List reports that Slovenia and Croatia have drawn up a pilot plan in an attempt to solve the issue of fishing in the border Bay of Piran. The agreement reportedly envisages a joint fishing area and annulment of all fines that have thus far been imposed on fishers from both countries.

After months of quiet diplomatic efforts, the countries have agreed on almost all elements of the temporary solution that will not prejudge the final agreement on the border at sea, the Croatian newspaper reports on Wednesday.

The decision on the border will come when the time is ripe for it, Večernji List said, citing diplomatic sources.

The goal of the agreement on fishing in the Bay of Piran is temporary joint fishing by Croatian and Slovenian fishermen in a restricted area, annulment of all fines issued to fishermen, and suspension of all relevant court proceedings.

Under the agreement, Croatian and Slovenian fishermen would temporarily fish together in the area and will be able cross the border line determined by the arbitration tribunal in June 2017, which Croatia does not recognise.

Croatia has been rejecting the arbitration award and has maintained that the border should run in the middle of the bay, while the arbitral tribunal has awarded most of the bay to Slovenia.

The expansion of the joint fishing area will result in Croatian and Slovenian fishermen no longer getting fined, which is something that Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković noted on Monday as he met his Slovenian counterpart Janez Janša.

Plenković said it was absurd that fishermen were required to pay fines as only lawyers profited from this. So far, not a single fine has been paid, as lawyers keep filing appeals, with the Croatian and Slovenian state covering the procedural costs.

According to Večernji List, the only thing left to be agreed on is the exact boundaries of the joint fishing area.

This is expected to be a temporary solution acceptable to both parties. It will certainly not be the area envisaged in the 2001 agreement on border cooperation, under which Slovenian fishermen could fish all the way to Vrsar, the paper says.

Fishing in the area would be supervised - Slovenian fishermen would be supervised by the Slovenian fisheries inspectorate, and Croatia's by the relevant Croatian institution.

Janša and Plenković have tasked the respective foreign ministers, Anže Logar and Gordan Grlić Radman, to draw up the final plan, Večernji List says, noting that the agreement could fall through due to the approaching general election in Slovenia.


More from Economy