Today during the meeting of the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament, memebers discussed the report on the diversification of fisheries and the role of tourism related to fishing, but also on how EU funds can and should further impact on fishing and tourism diversification in fisheries.
Dubravka Šuica, the shadow rapporteur for this report from the European People's Party, said that for Croatia it is necessary to connect tourism with maritime activities, fishing and agriculture, because of today's tourists want pristine rural destinations which have become the main source of income in local communities.
"I think that the relationship between sustainable tourism and fishing activities, particularly small fishing, is very important. Since I come from the south of Croatia, from Dubrovnik, I think that small-scale fishing and coastal fishing is very important for the development of local and regional tourism, and linking fisheries and tourism also affects GDP and jobs. However, during the accession negotiations with the EU, in the chapter about fishing, we accepted some regulations which take into account the multiple interests of professional, rather than small-scale fishing. These regulations are not adequate for the local community and I hope that we will be able to change the provisions that threaten recreational fishing and the identity of local communities."
MEP Šuica warned of the difficult status of fishermen tied to the provisions accepted by Croatia upon joining the European Union and added that it is crucial that the funds directed to local specificities go to certain Dalmatian cities and towns that are an example in which fishing is the primary type of job. In Croatia's case, this means the modernization of fishing vessels, regulating the status and rights of fishermen and in particular, facilitating procedural formalities. MEP Šuica also supported the proposal on the development of tourist fishing along with the indispensable protection of cultural heritage.
Committee members are convinced that a balanced combination of alternative and targeted tourism products can help in alleviating the problem of seasonality in tourism. The Committee also called on the European Commission to analyze the effectiveness of measures taken in the development of fisheries and the economic diversification of fisheries, including measures taken in the framework of the European Structural Funds.