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In Slovenia, fishing is a traditional activity with strong links to other sectors, especially tourism in the coastal region. Besides implementing the EU common fisheries policy, Slovenia aims to protect natural fish stock, promote sustainable and competitive fisheries, and foster aquaculture.

Effective fisheries policies and measures help ensure sustainable and competitive fisheries that will sustain the balance between available resources and the environment and increase the competitiveness of Slovenian aquaculture on national and European markets. To increase the competitiveness of the processing industry, the focus is on the exploitation of niche markets and innovative technologies, coupled with raising awareness about the health benefits of fish consumption with a view to promoting fisheries’ products. Slovenian fisheries policy also aims to ensure adequate working conditions and safety of fishermen, enhance the development of coastal fishing areas, and seek synergies between fisheries and tourism, cultural heritage and tradition.

Types of fisheries

In Slovenia, fisheries include commercial and non-commercial marine fishing, aquaculture (sea water and fresh water), the management of fishery resources in inland waterways, and the processing and marketing of fish and fisheries products.

Given its natural resources, Slovenia has the potential to increase the aquaculture production capacity to further the sector and enhance its competitiveness and sustainability. This can be achieved by improving its equipment and technology, fully exploiting the production capacities of its facilities, and promoting technological development and innovation.

In the field of fresh water fisheries, the policies aim to ensure sustainable management of fisheries resources in inland waterways, in particular the preservation and protection of fish stocks and the provision of recreational fishing. Regarding the processing and marketing of fish and fisheries products, the policies aim to achieve the maximum level of self-sufficiency by increasing the production capacities of processing plants and introducing new processing products with higher value added.

Public fisheries services and surveillance

Public services in the fields of fresh water and sea water fisheries are provided by the Fisheries Research Institute of Slovenia. The Institute also carries out commercial activities related to sport and recreational fishing and fish farming and a range of research and expert tasks in fish biology.

Fisheries supervision is provided by the Fisheries Inspection, which also supervises the implementation of fishing and farming plans, the operations of fishing clubs and the Fisheries Research Institute, and commerce in fisheries products.

EU Common Fisheries Policy

According to the Treaty on European Union, the EU has exclusive competence to preserve marine biological resources under the common fisheries policy (CFP). As an EU member, Slovenia is bound to honour the adopted commitments. The main aim of the CFP is to ensure that fisheries and aquaculture are environmentally sustainable in the long term and that they are managed in accordance with both economic and social objectives to provide a stable food supply. The CFP measures differ according to individual EU marine regions and are aimed, foremost, at achieving maximum sustainable yield, i.e. in theory, the proportion of fish stock that can safely be removed from the stock while maintaining its potential for reproduction.

Another important element of CFP is fishing fleet management. Each member state is attributed a maximum level of fishing fleet capacity. New fishing vessels may only be added to the fleet after a vessel of the same capacity had been removed.

The CFP also foresees the common market organisation (CMO) in fisheries and aquaculture products, which aims at establishing a common EU market matching supply with demand. CMO interventions thus provide a balance between market needs and fishermen’s interests and ensure a fair level playing field for all.

At the international level, numerous regional organisations have been established for the management of fisheries. Slovenia is a member of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM).