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Croatia Declares 'Fishing And Ecological Zone' In The Adriatic

Following a government recommendation the previous day, the Croatian parliament voted on 3 October to declare a "fishing and ecological zone" in the Adriatic.

Supporters of the move say it is necessary to protect fishing stocks, which are already heavily depleted. A spokesman for European Fishing and Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler told Reuters, however, that "the Mediterranean is a packed sea, and we are calling on all interested parties to engage in a dialogue.

Croatia's ambition to become an EU member and the imposing of an economic zone are two separate issues, but the EU is interested in cooperation and dialogue between member countries and candidates."

Slovenia and Italy have repeatedly called on Croatia not to implement any decisions without "dialogue".

On 4 October, the Slovenian Foreign Ministry protested the Croatian parliament's latest decision, dpa reported.

(RFE/RL 06.x.03)

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