FAO Home>Fisheries & Aquaculture
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  1. Profile
    1. Basic legislation
    2. Legal definition
    3. Guidelines and codes of conduct
    4. International arrangements
  2. Planning
    1. Authorization system
    2. Access to land and water
    3. EIA
  3. Operation
    1. Water and wastewater
    2. Fish movement
    3. Disease control
    4. Drugs
    5. Feed
  4. Food safety
    1. Miscellaneous
      1. References
        1. Legislation
        2. Related resources
      2. Related links
        Basic legislation
        Croatia will accede to the European Union as its 28th member on 1 July 2013 and has been harmonising its legal system and regulatory framework with the acquis communautaire for some time. Croatia applied for EU membership in 2003 and was in negotiations from 2005 until 2011.

        All counties acceding to the European Union are required to harmonise existing law and regulations with those of the entire EU – the acquis communautaire: the accumulated legislation, legal acts, and court decisions which constitute the body of European Union law. As such, the regulatory framework for fisheries and aquaculture in Croatia has changed significantly in anticipation of its EU membership, as has the country’s environmental law, regulations and ordinances.

        Law staying the same in Croatia:

        The fisheries sector in Croatia includes several sub-sectors: freshwater aquaculture, inland fisheries, marine aquaculture, marine capture fisheries, fish and aquatic organism processing, control and inspection, market organization and structural support..

        The three main laws governing the fisheries sector are: the Law on Marine Fisheries, 2010 (“Marine Fisheries Law”); the Freshwater Fisheries Act, 2001 (“Freshwater Fisheries Act”); and the Law on the Structural Support and Regulation of Markets in Fisheries, 2010 (“Structural Support Act”). Aquaculture legislation is found in portions of each of these acts: the Marine Fisheries Law controls marine aquaculture (“mariculture”); the Freshwater Fisheries Act controls freshwater aquaculture; the Structural Support Act controls portions of both marine and freshwater aquaculture. The latter includes provisions for structural and market policy in aquaculture and government assistance consistent with the acquis communautaire.

        Many, very specific, individual regulations, ordinances and orders implement the specific aspects of mariculture and freshwater aquaculture (see section VI, References, below).

        The Law on Marine Fisheries, 2010, repealed the 1997 Marine Fisheries Act. It regulates commercial fishing, non-commercial fishing and recreational fishing allowed with a license that is issued by the Minister responsible for marine fishing. It addresses the management, conservation and exploitation of fishery resources, sea welfare, monitoring and reporting on biological quality and diversity of the sea world, including aquaculture.

        The Freshwater Fisheries Act provides full standards and measures for the freshwater fisheries sector and related activities. It also includes data collection standards, official control requirements and offences and penalties provisions.

        The Ministry of Agriculture generally administers aquaculture and fisheries and the supporting legislative and economic framework and regulations. The Directorate of Fisheries is part of the Ministry of Agriculture, and both passes and implements regulations. The Association of Fishery, Aquaculture and Fish Processing is part of the Croatian Chamber of Economy and Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts. Apart from the Ministry of Agriculture institutions involved in marine aquaculture are: the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection; the Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning; the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure; Agriculture and Extension Service; and provincial and national governments.

        Article 37 of the Environmental Protection Act (“EPA) establishes the Croatian Environment Agency (“the Agency), which collects and uses environmental data and information to monitor and implement policies on environmental protection and sustainable development.

        The Agency coordinates government information and reporting on implementing environmental regulations. It reports to the European Commission on these matters and cooperates with the European Environment Agency to comply with reporting requirements of the European Environment Information and Observation Network (EIONET).

        EPA Article 36 establishes an Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development Council (“the Council”) of 9 government-appointed members composed of “scientific, expert, public and other employees and representatives of central state administration bodies competent for the specific environmental component or burden and representatives of civil society organizations active in the field of environmental protection.”

        The Council coordinates and harmonises economic development and protection, to ensure that development is sustainable and that regulation is reasonable. Besides performing tasks the Government and the Minister might delegate in accordance with this Act, the Council delivers opinions on:
        • proposals of documents in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development pending adoption by the Government or the Croatian Parliament;
        • proposals and evaluations of the level of harmonization in resolving issues related to environmental protection and economic development; and,
        • proposals and evaluation on the level of harmonization in resolving issues related to protection of the climate and the ozone layer.
        EPA Article 43 lists the primary sustainable development and environmental protection documents for the Republic of Croatia, which include evaluations of aquaculture activities: the Strategy for Sustainable Development; the Environmental Protection Plan; the Environmental Protection Programme; and, the Environmental Status Report.
        Legal definition
        The 2001 Croatian Freshwater Fisheries Act defines freshwater fisheries activity as including freshwater aquaculture. The Act describes freshwater fisheries as activity involving the management of fish in inland waters, including, fishing, ranching, aquaculture, fish conservation and ecology.

        The text of the 2011 Law on Marine Fisheries includes marine aquaculture as part of the fisheries industry. It includes aquaculture with its fisheries provisions regarding the management, conservation and exploitation of fishery resources, sea welfare, monitoring and reporting on biological quality and sea life diversity.

        Aquaculture regulations in Croatia are found in each of the laws addressing mariculture and freshwater aquaculture, and in the many, very specific regulations listed below, VI Reverences.
        Guidelines and codes of conduct
        There are no guidelines or codes of conduct defined specifically for aquaculture under Croatian law. There are many ordinances, regulations and laws controlling fisheries that make the code of conduct in aquaculture consistent with the European Common Fisheries Policy.
        International arrangements
        As a member of the European Union, Croatia will be party to the Barcelona Convention of 1976 for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean.

        Croatia is a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and has ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

        It is also a member or observer of the following agreements:
        • The Black Sea Economic Cooperation Zone (BSEC) (observer).
        • The Central European Initiative (CEI).
        • The Council of Europe (CE).
        • The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC).
        • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
        • The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).
        • The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).
        • The International Development Association (IDA).
        • The International Maritime Organization (IMO).
        • The Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI).
        • The United Nations (UN).
        • The World Health Organization (WHO).
        • The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
        • The World Trade Organization (WTO).
        Croatia is a signatory of all international conventions related to environmental protection.
        Authorization system
        Starting an aquaculture establishment in Croatia is a multi-tiered and institutionally divided process. Generally, the feasibility of an aquaculture project is addressed in the Croatian Parliament’s national strategic physical planning documents, the “National Physical Planning Strategy and Programme”, a four-year programme of measures to improve conditions throughout the country. The Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection and the Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning and their local and regional counterparts enforce all physical planning documents using such means as: location permits; and ad hoc decisions based on excerpts from a detailed development plan. The goal of these decisions is consistency in planning at all levels.

        The authorities involved in licensing for marine and freshwater aquaculture are the Ministries of: Agriculture (license for fish farming); Environmental and Nature Protection (EIA, when required), Physical Planning and Construction. Marine aquaculture concessions are granted through the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, the counties and the national government.

        To obtain a license for marine aquaculture, the developer first submits a request for concession of maritime area to the County. The County verifies that the area and desired usage is consistent with physical plans or with the legal site selection criteria. Before starting any further activity the County has to provide approval from the Ministry of Agriculture. The 2012 Regulation on Criteria for marine aquaculture locations (OG No. 59/12, repealing 1999 and 2003 Regulations) defines specific criteria for white fish, tuna and shellfish, in terms of water depth, turbidity, water currents, temperature, oxygen, salinity, trophic status, phytobenthos, waves, sediment structure, predators, infrastructure and specific requests for shellfish like safety and water quality. After these criteria have been fulfilled, the County starts the procedure for a location permit.

        For a location permit, the applicant must submit a concept design that is consistent with the physical plan, an Environmental Impact Assessment (if requested, see EIA, below), and have approval from the Ministries of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure and Agriculture.

        The 2011 Regulation on License for Growing Fish and Other Marine Organisms provides the form, procedure, content and manner of granting privileges to cultivate fish and other marine organisms and registering licenses issued. The text is currently only available in Croatian. An application for license for growing fish and other marine organisms is submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture, and a special license is required for any maritime area where aquaculture is performed. Application has to be supported by valid contract on concession of maritime area and decision on environmental protection protocols (if requested). The license defines the total area (geographic coordinates), species, maximum annual production, maximum annual food consumption (in the case of marine white fish) and duration.

        The 2011 Regulation on Logbook on marine aquaculture production (OG No. 76/11, repealing 2009 Regulation) defines the obligation for each aquaculture license holder to submit annual statistical data report. All data are submitted through electronic data base system.

        The 2011 Regulation on Exam on Marine Aquaculture production (OG No. 76/11, repealing 2003 Regulation) defines the obligation for each aquaculture license holder to employ workers that have passed a specific exam for marine aquaculture producers, organised by Ministry of Aquaculture. This certification is issued also to persons who have university degree on adequate sciences.

        The freshwater aquaculture licences are issued by the Ministry of Agriculture-Directorate of Fisheries in line with the provisions of the Freshwater Fisheries Act (OG 106/01, 7/03, 174/04, 10/05, 49/05-consolidated text) and the Regulation on Aquaculture (OG No. 82/05, 59/09, 156/09, 53/10, 3/11, 149/11 ). This Regulation sets out the aquaculture license issuing procedure, the procedure for passing the specific exam for persons directly involved in freshwater aquaculture activities, as well as the obligation for freshwater aquaculture producers to submit the data on annual production through logbook system. The freshwater aquaculture licenses are issued upon the application of natural or legal persons to the Ministry of Agriculture-Directorate of Fisheries, only after the concessions for water usage for the activity have been issued under the Waters Act (OG No. 153/09, 63/11, 130/11) and the newly adopted Agricultural Land Act (OG No. 39/13). These two acts govern the issue of usage of inland waters and agricultural land for freshwater aquaculture purposes, which differ depending on the type of activity undertaken (cyprinid or salmonid aquaculture). A freshwater aquaculture license describes the total area, species and maximum annual food consumption (in the case of salmonid farms) that is included in the license. The duration of the license is related to the period covered by the concession given for the inland waters/land usage.
        Access to land and water
        In marine aquaculture, the county announces a public tender for the award of concessions . The best applicant signs the concession contract with the County. The concession has a maximum term of 20 years, unless the government agrees to a longer term. The license the Ministry issues for marine fish farming has a term corresponding to the duration of the concession. (See Licensing Procedure for Marine Aquaculture in Croatia, 2009, referenced below)

        The primary legal framework regulating coastal zone management comprises the Regulation on Management and Protection of the Protected Coastal Area (2004), which subsequently in 2007 was adopted into the Law on Spatial Planning and Construction.

        The protected coastal zone has been established and defined as an area of 1,000 metres from the coastline towards land and 300 metres from the coastline towards the sea, including all islands.

        Other laws and regulations on coastal zone management and affecting aquaculture access to land and sea, according to sector are: the Nature Protection Act (2005); the Environmental Protection Act (2007); and the Maritime Domain and Seaports Act (2002). These laws contain provisions mandating that aquaculture activity be consistent with general, national, overall environmental planning. Thus, aquaculture activity in Croatia is restricted within the framework of what the Ministry of the Environment considers necessary to maintain the national freshwater and marine ecosystems.

        The Nature Protection Act states as its purpose to regulate the system of protection and integrated conservation of nature and its assets, including the overall biological and landscape diversity (Article 1). Its goals and tasks include restoring and preserving biological and landscape diversity as it interacts with human activities to achieve sustainability of resource management. Another goal is to “…contribute to the conservation of the quality, quantity and availability of fresh and sea water.” (Article 3)

        Provisions of the Nature Protection Act affecting aquaculture and water management are implemented through incorporating nature protection requirements and measures and programmes on governance and natural resources management into physical planning documents. (Article 5)

        In the Marine Domains and Seaport Act of 2002, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure controls granting concessions in maritime domain. This Act regulates the maritime domain and manages and protects seaports and dock areas and use of port infrastructure. It aims to protect the coast and sea from pollution as required under regulations on water and environmental protection. (Articles 1-2)

        The Marine Domains and Seaport Act defines a concession as a right granting to physical or legal persons a part of the maritime domain for exclusive special and/or economic exploitation. (Article 2) It addresses the granting of concessions within the context of environmental planning, since a maritime domain can be given for special use or economic exploitation only in accordance with the regulations on environmental protection. A maritime domain concession is granted upon clear definition of the limits of the concession and its recordation in the land registry.

        Concessions are granted by contractual agreement between the physical or legal person requesting the concession and the County. In the case when concession is within protected area all the procedure is under responsibility of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure and the Government. Concessional Contract limit the activities performed within the conceded maritime domain and include typical contractual provisions establishing fees, physical location, duties and obligations of the contracting parties, and include an excerpt from Detailed Environmental Plan or a location permit. (Articles 16-18)

        Since aquaculture activities must be consistent with the whole of Croatian environmental planning, more information concerning strategies in coastal management that might affect aquaculture can be found in the: Spatial Planning Strategy and the Programme; National Programme for Island Development; National Strategy for Environmental Protection; the National Environmental Action Plan; Strategy for Sustainable Development of Croatia; Strategy and Action Plan for the Protection of Biological and Landscape Diversity of the Republic of Croatia; and the Strategy for Regional Development of Croatia 2011-2013.
        An EIA is required in marine aquaculture for:
        • finfish farms located in protected coastal area, within 300 meters from the coast, that have annual production over 100 tons;
        • fish farms located up to one nautical mile outside of a protected coastal area with annual production over 700 tons;
        • fish farms located outside the protected coastal area, more than 1 nautical mile from the coast of an island or the mainland with annual production over 3500 tons; and,
        • mariculture zones in protected coastal areas used as marine finfish farms or shellfish farms in protected coastal area with annual production over 400 tons.
        In freshwater aquaculture an EIA is required for cyprinid farms with total area of 100 ha and larger.

        The Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection enforces provisions of the Environmental Protection Act (“EPA”), largely through selected inspectors.

        Environmental Impact Assessments are outlined in the EPA Article 69. An EIA is required before a location or other types of permits are issued. EIAs are defined as “the assessment of possible significant environmental impacts set out under this Act and the regulation referred to in Article 71 paragraph 3 of this Act.” (EPA, Article 69). Article 71 describes procedures to request an EIA.

        An EIA is used to determine possible direct and indirect effects of a project on the soil, water, sea, air, forest, climate, human beings, flora and fauna, landscape, material assets and cultural heritage, including crosscutting effects. (EPA, Article 69). EIAs are performed to mitigate potential damage and to protect the environment as much as possible. It analyses project activities from the planning stage and harmonises project elements with environmental protection measures. (See “Guidance on EIA Scoping”, European Commission, June 2001, pages 5-7)

        The EPA states that the applicant must request an EIA in writing and that request must include an environmental impact study and the documents described in Article 71 as required for an EIA request (Article 73). The Ministry determines the required content of an environmental impact study, upon consultation with local authorities involved in fisheries and aquaculture (EPA, Article 74). Details regarding content of, deadlines for and appeals of EIA decisions are in EPA Articles 73, et seq.

        An environmental impact study forms the basis for an EIA. It includes written and graphic documentation and information, the project proposal and related environmental protection measures, including environmental monitoring. The developer bears all costs of the EIA process and bases the environmental impact study on the most recently available information. The preparer of the study is responsible for its authenticity and accuracy. (EPA, Article 75)

        A strategic environmental assessment (“strategic assessment”) is a procedure to determine likely and significant impacts of a plan or programme on the environment. Strategic assessments promote sustainable development through integrating environmental protection requirements in the plans and programmes for specific sectors. Aquaculture is one of these sectors. (EPA, Article 55-56)

        Either the Environmental Ministry or the ministry competent in the sector for which the plan or programme is developed performs strategic assessments at the state level. At the regional level, a strategic assessment of a plan or programme is performed by the competent administrative body and the sectorial administrative department in the country or in the City of Zagreb. (EPA, Article 59)

        Strategic assessments are mandatory for a plan or programme adopted at the state and regional level in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, among other industries. Since aquaculture is part of the agriculture and fisheries industries, aquaculture plans and programmes also require strategic assessment. A strategic assessment promotes environmentally conscious decision-making by aquaculture farmers. It gives the farmers a framework for including environmental protection in implementing the project. (EPA, Article 55)

        Strategic assessments are required during the draft aquaculture proposal stage of planning, and must be finalised before submission. A strategic impact study is part of the strategic assessment procedure, and is described in EPA Article 61.

        The basic procedure for strategic assessment approval involves the entity that performs the study presenting it to the regulatory authority for an opinion, to be provided within 30 days. Should this deadline not be met, it is presumed that there are no special environmental impacts or protection requirements for that plan or programme. (EPA Articles 63 through 65).

        The strategic assessment procedure concludes with a report from the implementing entity stating, inter alia, how environmental protection has been integrated into the plan or programme, expected results of such protections, and a monitoring plan and assessing program of environmental impacts. (EPA, Article 66).
        Water and wastewater
        Croatia is currently investing heavily in reforming its water supply & wastewater sector for harmonisation with the EU Water Framework Directive. There are no individual regulations addressing either point or non point-source wastewater discharge, and these issues are currently treated in more general terms, as part of the country’s overall economic policy, plans and strategy and in EIAs for individual projects or programmes.

        There are many institutions involved in regulating Croatian water quality and wastewater discharge, and this is apparently interfering with full harmonisation with EU law. The expense of harmonisation with strict EU standards on water quality and wastewater discharge will be substantial and could last through 2023. (“World Bank – Croatia Partnership Country Program Snapshot”, pg. 8)

        Aquaculture is a potential source of non point-source pollution, mostly harming marine life by reducing oxygen in the water. Many aquaculture systems are closed with no harmful output, but some – particularly marine cage fish farms and land-based fish farms - can discharge significant amounts of wastewater containing emissions that negatively affect the marine or freshwater environment.

        Croatian environmental law related to water quality and wastewater discharge currently includes planning through broad strategies, plans and programmes and states that either an individual act or government regulation sets environmental quality standards, including limit values of indicators for individual environmental components. (EPA, Article 54)

        Marine water quality is indirectly addressed in the legislation providing for Marine Protection and Protection of Coastal Zones that, inter alia, ensures sustainable mariculture through permanent monitoring to protect and ensure the sustainability of the sea, seabed and coastal shore. This includes protecting the coastal zone, measures to protect coastal eco-systems and sustainably manage coastal resources, and to comply with international agreements. These measures involve protecting against marine pollution and emissions. (EPA, Article 24)

        Croatian law defines marine pollution as human introduction of substances or energy into the marine environment, which causes harm to flora and fauna in the sea and seabed, endangering living conditions and human health, hinder marine activities or impair the quality of sea water and marine ecosystems. (EPA, Articles 3 & 24)

        The Republic of Croatia also addresses water pollution from aquaculture in its long and short-term environmental protection strategies, its eight-year Environmental Protection Plan (“the Plan”) and its general, long-term Strategy for Sustainable Development (“the Strategy”). Together, these policies plan and harmonise the country’s overall sustainable development of the nation, including aquaculture. Specific measures to protect water quality are included in the Plan, which is re-examined for another four-year renewal at mid-term. The Strategy sets long-term goals of national economic and social development. (EPA, Article 45)

        Aquaculture water pollution and water quality in general is addressed in environmental planning at the regional and local levels in the Environmental Protection Programme (“the Programme”) The Programme is written and strategized according to each area’s unique requirements, and must include conditions, measures and environmental protection priorities for the specific geographic needs and name those obligated to implement its measures. The Programme is adopted within six months of the Plan. (EPA, Article 46)

        The Marine Protection Strategy (Article 48) and Intervention Plan in Case of Sudden Sea Pollution, an environmental protection document (Article 43), comprising a Marine Protection Strategy (“Marine Strategy) and an Intervention Plan in Case of Sudden Sea Pollution (“Intervention Plan”). The Intervention Plan and the Marine Strategy would together be implemented in case of emergency water pollution from aquaculture. (EPA, Article 50)

        The Marine Strategy is the foundation to harmonize and manage various aspects of environmental protection and to implement obligations under international agreements to protect the marine environment. The Ministry drafts the Strategy with local authorities for the sea, tourism, transport and development, the economy, agriculture, forestry, water management, nature, science and health. (Articles 48).
        Fish movement
        The Ministry of Agriculture is the central competent authority responsible for animal health and welfare.

        The Ministry of Agriculture has transposed and implemented:
        • Council Directive 2006/88/EC of 24 October 2006 on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products thereof, and on the prevention and control of certain diseases in aquatic animals in Ordinance on health requirements for aquaculture animals and products thereof, and control of certain diseases in aquatic animals( OG No. 42/2008, 36/2010); and
        • Commission Decision 2008/946/EC of 12 December 2008 implementing Council Directive 2006/88/EC as regards requirements for quarantine of aquaculture animals in Ordinance on quarantine conditions for aquatic animals ( OG No. 58/2012).
        In the third quarter of 2012, the Croatian Ordinance on the use of alien and locally absent species in aquaculture was harmonized with EU requirements. The third quarter of 2012 mandated alignment of the Croatian ordinance on the use of alien and locally absent species in aquaculture, also under the purview of the Ministry of Agriculture.

        The EU regulations controlling this harmonisation are: Commission Regulation (EC) No 708/2007 of 11 June 2007 concerning use of alien and locally absent species in aquaculture 32007R0708; and, Commission Regulation (EC) No 535/2008 of 13 June 2008 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 708/2007 32008R0535.
        Disease control
        The Veterinary Act (OG 41/07, 55/11) regulates the area of animal health protection, implementation of veterinary public health measures, improvement of animal reproduction, veterinary protection of the environment, official controls and inspection supervision in the veterinary field. Animal health, including freshwater and marine fish diseases is also regulated with Veterinary Act and regulations originate from it. Regulations:
        • Veterinary Act (OG 41/07, 55/11);
        • Order on measures to protect animals from infectious and parasitic diseases and the financing thereof in 2013 (OG 3/13);
        • Ordinance on the notification of animal diseases (OG 62/11, 114/11);
        • Ordinance on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products thereof, and on the prevention and control of certain diseases in aquatic animals (OG 42/08, 36/10) which is fully aligned with Council Directive (EC) No 88/2006 on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products thereof, and on the prevention and control of certain diseases in aquatic animals;
        • Ordinance on establishing the sampling plans and diagnostic methods for the detection and confirmation of the presence of the mollusc diseases Bonamiosis (Bonamia ostreae) and Marteiliosis (Marteilia refringens) (OG 142/08) which is fully aligned with Commission Decision 2002/878/EC of 6 November 2002 establishing the sampling plans and diagnostic methods for the detection and confirmation of the presence of the mollusc diseases bonamiosis (Bonamia ostreae) and marteiliosis (Marteilia refringens);
        • Ordinance on sampling plans and diagnostic methods for the detection and confirmation of certain fish diseases (OG 142/08) which is fully aligned with Commission Decision 2001/183/EC of 22 February 2001 laying down the sampling plans and diagnostic methods for the detection and confirmation of certain fish diseases and repealing Decision 92/532/EEC (Text with EEA relevance);
        • Ordinance on establishing criteria for zoning and official surveillance following suspicion or confirmation of the presence of infectious salmon anemia (ISA) which is fully aligned with Commission Decision 2003/466/EC of 13 June 2003 establishing criteria for zoning and official surveillance following suspicion or confirmation of the presence of infectious salmon anemia (ISA);
        • Ordinance regarding conditions for the placing on the market and the import of aquaculture animals and products thereof and laying down a list of vector species (OG 5/10) which is fully aligned with Commission Regulation (EC) No 1251/2008 of 12 December 2008 implementing Council Directive 2006/88/EC as regards conditions and certification requirements for the placing on the market and the import into the Community of aquaculture animals and products thereof and laying down a list of vector species;
        • Ordinance on approving national measures of certain member states for limiting the impact of certain diseases in aquaculture animals and wild aquatic animals (OG 98/11) which is fully aligned with Commission Decision 2010/221/EU of 15 April 2010 approving national measures for limiting the impact of certain diseases in aquaculture animals and wild aquatic animals in accordance with Article 43 of Council Directive 2006/88/EC;
        • Ordinance on guidelines for the purpose of the risk-based animal health surveillance schemes (OG 88/10) which is fully aligned with Commission Decision 2008/896/EC of 20 November 2008 on guidelines for the purpose of the risk-based animal health surveillance schemes provided for in Council Directive 2006/88/EC; and
        • Ordinance on requirements for quarantine of aquaculture animals (OG 58/12) which is fully aligned with Commission Decision 2008/946 of 12 December 2008 implementing Council Directive 2006/88/EC as regards requirements for quarantine of aquaculture animals.
        Chemicals and veterinary drugs are controlled by Act on veterinary medicinal products (OG 84/08) which has transposed and implemented Directive 2001/82/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 November 2001 on the Community code relating to veterinary medicinal products, its amendments, ordinances and regulations, as harmonised with EU law and regulations.
        The Croatian Food Act (OG 46/07, 55/11) (“Food Act”) of 2007 is in line with controls inter alia, general principles and requirements relating to the hygiene and safety of food and animal feed, including aquaculture.

        The Food Act defines feed as “…any substance or product, including feed additives, processed, partially processed or unprocessed, intended for feeding of food producing animals, or animals used for food production.” (Food Act, Article 3)

        The Food Act prohibits the placing of unsafe feed on the market. Unsafe feed is that which is harmful for the health of animals that produce food or are used in the production of food, and food produced from animals eating unsafe feed is considered unsafe for human consumption. (Food Act, Article 16)

        If unsafe feed is part of a production series or consignment of the same class of feed, unless stringent laboratory analysis can prove the contrary, it is presumed that all the feed in the production series or consignment is unsafe. (Food Act, Article 78)

        The Ministry of Agriculture can restrict the sale of feed suspected to be unsafe, or remove it from the market entirely. The Minister of Agriculture adopts and enforces regulations regarding aquaculture and animal feed to establish feed safety requirements and hygienic conditions for handling feed. Regulations might impose a duty of self-control on feed business operators to ensure the safety of feed on the market and set conditions regarding employees, and feed production systems. They might also prohibit or restrict raw materials used in feed production, their origin and other characteristics. (Food Act, Article 78)

        Feed quality and use and other related issues are controlled by the above-mentioned Food Act, its amendments, ordinances and regulations, as harmonised with EU law and regulations.
        Food safety
        Central competent authority responsible for the safety, hygiene and quality of food and feed and for the organisation of official controls of food and feed is the Ministry of Agriculture. It is among other responsible for drafting legislation on hygiene requirements for food of animal origin and procedures on implementation of legislation for food of animal origin.

        The Food Act (OG 46/07, 55/11) is the basic framework law in Croatia on food and feed safety. It has transposed and implemented Regulation (EC) No 178/02 and covers a general overview and requirements on food and feed safety.

        The Food Act prescribes the mission, tasks and organisation of the Croatian Food Agency (CFA).
        The mission of the CFA is consumer protection in the area of food safety. The role of the CFA is to identify emerging risks, make risk assessments and report on risk assessment results related to health safety and hygiene of food and feed. CFA works in cooperation with institutes, the academic community, laboratories and other legal entities involved in the system of food and feed safety in the Republic of Croatia. It provides the Ministry of Agriculture with risk assessments and notifications on the results of risk assessments related to food and feed.

        According to Food Act it is forbidden to put unsafe food that is harmful to human health or unfit for human consumption, on market. (Food Act, Article 14)

        In the aquaculture context, the Food Act, national regulations and transposed and implemented EU regulations control such issues as obligations of food business operators and general requirements relating to food, primary production, processing, facilities, handling of aquaculture products, laboratory testing, labeling of aquaculture food products, and import or export.
        Aquaculture investment 
        Support and incentives for Croatian aquaculture follow the acquis communautaire, and aim to assist sustainable development of fisheries and aquaculture. The Structural Support Act provides support for productive investments in aquaculture production, in aqua-environmental measures, public health measures and in animal health measures. Other support schemes for sustainable aquaculture development include aid for insurance, the right to use blue diesel and aid for protection of biological and environmental diversity of freshwater fish ponds due to the damage of predatory birds.

        Due to the fact that Croatia will become a member of EU as of 1st of July 2013, Croatia has prepared an operational programme for the period 2007-2013 in line with the provisions of the Council Regulation (EC) No. 1198/2006 of 27 July 2006 on the European Fisheries Fund (basic Regulation), and of the Commission Regulation (EC) No. 498/2007 of 26 March 2007 (amended by EC Regulation No 1249/2010 of 22 December 2010) (implementation Regulation), laying down detailed rules for the implementation of basic regulations on the European Fisheries Fund, including the second half of the 2013. The OP Fisheries has addressed main issues of Croatian fishery sector, among which the Priority Axis 2 which includes support productive investment in aquaculture and support for aqua-environmental measures. Main goal is to modernise and increase the production as well as to strengthen the competitiveness of aquaculture through modernization of existing farming capacity, diversification of production while meeting the standards in terms of food safety, environmental protection, public health and animal health and welfare. Croatia has recognized that the importance of the aquaculture sector is not only food production, but also maintaining of biological diversity. Many fish ponds are part of a Croatian proposal for ecological network which is going to become part of EU NATURA 2000 network.

        The Ministry of Science, Education and Sports finances scientific research and education, ensuring basic financial support and means for scientific projects in aquaculture, among other fields.

        NGOs or Ministries, particularly the Ministries of Environmental and Nature Protection or Physical Planning and Construction, might also finance aquaculture projects.

        Fisheries and aquaculture higher education is well-developed in Croatia, with fish culture offered as an optional subject for Bachelors degrees at several universities and graduate degrees in the field also offered.

        The Ministry of Agriculture enforces the Croatian Ordinance on the Manner of Calculating Aid to Producer Organisations in Fisheries.
        FAOLEX – Full text in Croatian, Abstracts in English
        Regulation on aquatic animal quarantine
        Implementing regulations for the Law on Marine Fisheries, 2010
        Law on the Structural Support and Regulation of Markets in Fisheries, 2010
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