Slovenia, Croatia reportedly seal deal on fishing in Piran Bay

Zagreb – Croatian media have reported that Slovenia and Croatia are said to have reached an agreement under which Slovenian fishers would be allowed to fish in the Gulf of Piran in the Croatian territorial waters as far as the town of Umag, and Croatian fishers in Slovenian waters as far as Koper. Slovenia has neither confirmed nor denied these reports.

Asked by the STA whether the deal has indeed been agreed, the Slovenian Foreign Ministry said that “over the past two years, the government of the Republic of Slovenia has strengthened dialogue with neighbouring Croatia and intends to continue to do so in the future”.

Croatian fishers met Croatian Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković and Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman behind closed doors in Croatia’s Umag at the beginning of this week, meanwhile say media reports by Croatian web portals morski.hr, Glas Istre, and Croatian and Slovenian N1.

The details of the meeting are not officially known, but the morski.hr portal, citing statements by some of the fishers, says that they discussed the agreement.

Under the deal, Croatian fishers would also be exempted from fines issued by the Slovenian police for fishing in the disputed area. All the Croatian fishers present, except one, are said to have agreed to the agreement.

The Croatian agriculture and foreign ministries have confirmed that the meeting took place, but they have been tight-lipped about its specific content, saying that “a range of issues of interest to Croatian fishers” were discussed. “The meeting was informal and closed to the public,” they added.

The meeting also discussed what can be done to put an end to the fines and to allow unhindered fishing in part of the border area. “They agreed to continue cooperating and exchanging views with the fishers,” the ministries said as quoted by morski.hr.