Fisheries Areas Network

Fiches pays

Croatia - 14 FLAGs - 27,7 M€

Croatia’s objectives for the implementation of CLLD in fisheries include the sustainable economic development of coastal and island communities by adding value to fisheries-linked activities, and diversifying activities from other sectors This, in turn, should create employment; strengthen small-scale infrastructure development; and strengthen fishing communities’ awareness of the need to protect the environment, nature and biodiversity. Croatian FLAGs (currently 14) were selected for the first time in 2017 by the Ministry for Agriculture. 

CLLD Programme

CLLD Context: 

The traditional Mediterranean style of life and the marine orientation of the Croatian economy are strongly influenced by tourism development. Traditional marine occupations include ship-building and repair, fisheries and short-distance sea shipping. The main fishing harbours are Biograd, Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Šibenik and Split. The deep shallow bay makes the ecosystem of the Adriatic Sea a highly sensitive one. Preservation of high water quality of the Eastern Adriatic, reflected in its biodiversity as well as in the quality of sea products, is of utmost importance for both tourism and the environment.

Yearly catches and production of sea food (fish, crustaceans, oysters and other molluscs and shellfish) amount to 84 229 tonnes (2015) 80% of this is pelagic fish, mostly sardines. The fishing fleet consists of more than seven thousand vessels, a major part (over 90%) are under 12 m in length. The proportion of sport and recreational fishing in the sea waters is rising. In 2017, 3 408 persons got a licence for small scale coastal fishing.

The number of permanently employed persons in the sector of fisheries is estimated at 14 000 and with those seasonally employed it reaches 25 000 people.

Contact details of the managing authority can be found here.

More information about national EMFF programmes can be found here.


Axis 4 achievements (2007-2013): 

Croatia decided not to have FLAGs in the previous programming period, having only joined the EU in July 2013.

CLLD objectives and challenges for 2014-2020: 

According to the OP 2014-2020 objectives of the implementation of local development strategies in fisheries are:

  • Sustainable economic development of coastal and island communities depending on fisheries by adding value to fisheries-linked activities and diversification of activities from other relevant sectors thus increasing income and employment opportunities,
  • Strengthening the small-scale infrastructure development and promoting social cohesion in coastal and island communities,
  • Encouraging collective and strategic thinking in fishing communities in order to enable them to shape their own future, and promoting the active participation of fishermen in the strategic planning of local development,
  • Integrating and optimising inclusion of the fisheries sector in local development to maximise synergy and minimise possible conflicts of interests in fisheries areas,
  • Strengthening awareness of fishing communities of the need to protect environment, nature and biodiversity, thereby increasing their resilience and diminishing vulnerability,
  • Establishing of adequate mechanisms for maximising complementarity and synergy with other EU funds,
  • Providing a platform for exchange of best practices and experiences within the framework of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region and other fields of cross-border cooperation.


Multi-fund CLLD in Croatia

Regardless of their territorial correspondence or overlapping, the implementation of LAG and FLAG strategies is mono-funded. In achieving the CLLD objectives, the EFMM OP takes into account the complementarity with other ESI funds (EAFRD, ERDF, ESF and the Cohesion Fund) as well as coordination between different funds and instruments.

CLLD Budget

Total budget: 
€27 704 530
  • EMFF budget for CLLD: 
    €23 548 850
  • Co-funding: 
    €4 155 680
  • Proportion of CLLD in EMFF budget: 
Number of FLAGs: 
Average budget per FLAG: 
€1 978 895

National Network

The Croatian MA has decided to create a membership-based network which includes FLAGs, potential FLAGs and other fisheries CLLD actors. The call for membership was launched in February 2016 based on the Ordinance on a National network of local action groups in fisheries and remains open at the NN website. The network support unit operating within the MA is verifying and confirming members. The network consists mainly of FLAGs, although other entities (e.g. fisheries cooperatives or regional development agencies) can also be members.

The network aims to provide assistance in implementation of measures supporting CLLD within the OP 2014-2020. Its tasks encompass the distribution of information, capacity building, exchange of best practices, support to FLAG cooperation within Croatia and promotion of CLLD.

The budget for operations and activity of the NN from Technical Assistance of the EMFF amounts to €1.01 million, 75% of which from the EU and 25% from the national budget.

Members of the managing board, including president and vice-president, are elected by NN members and formally nominated by the Minister of Agriculture. The first general meeting was held in Rabac (Istria) in October 2017 within the framework of a traditional fisheries fair.

The Network action plan envisages:

  • Organisation of workshops, seminars, conferences and thematic meetings
  • Exchange of experiences and good practices
  • Networking and distribution of information from the EU level
  • Support for FLAG cooperation
  • Organisation of educational activities for members
  • Promotion of the NN through media and other communication channels
  • Participation in the OP Monitoring board.

In practice most networking activities (e.g. workshops and seminars for the FLAGs) are organised by the EMFF Managing Authority.

Click here for the National Network contact details.

The FLAGs and their areas

Croatian FLAGs were selected for the first time in 2017 by the Ministry for Agriculture within the OP 2014-2020. In the period preceding the approval of the Croatian OP 2014-2020 in November 2015, potential FLAGs were established along the Adriatic coast and on islands. Their legal form was ‘association’ as regulated by the national law on associations and their names started with “FLAG”. These “local initiatives in fisheries” followed the path and experience of LEADER LAGs approved by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2013 under the pre-accession IPARD Programme. Contrary to the initially planned seven FLAGs corresponding to seven Adriatic counties, a double number of initiatives have been activated based on affiliation of local communities and their need to share the task of local development with their neighbours.

In line with the expectations expressed in the OP 2014-2020, the majority of local initiatives in fisheries were initiated by neighbouring or overlapping LAGs and strengthened through the direct transfer of their experience. According to the OP, “the LAG managers had proven themselves in communication, cooperation and participation as competent advisers and transmitters of knowledge on the CLLD approach in fisheries in relations with all the stakeholders within the eligible areas and especially those from the sectors of fisheries and aquaculture.”

The potential FLAGs had access to preparatory support to develop their strategies. The process of approval of local development strategies (LDS) had two rounds:

  • First call launched in 2016 (with a deadline of 31 October) resulted with five submitted strategies. Final decisions on approval of submitted strategies were issued on 6 June 2017 to all five FLAGs. Total amount granted for implementation of five strategies: €9.6 million
  • The second call launched in early 2017 resulted in nine submitted strategies. They were all approved by the end of 2017.

The Directorate of Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture in line with its status of the MA approves the fisheries local development strategies, while the act of FLAG recognition is to be signed by the Minister of Agriculture.



Code Nom Région Surface area (km²) Population Population density (per km²) Employment in fisheries*
HR201 Pinna Nobilis FLAG 367 26152 71
HR202 Istarski Svoj FLAG 456 34351 75
HR203 Istarska Batana FLAG
736 46340 89
HR204 Alba FLAG
390 22590 58
HR205 Tunera FLAG
Primorje-Gorski Kotar County
572 35953 63
HR206 Vela Vrata FLAG 650 28290 44 125
HR207 Tramuntana FLAG 1160 21090 37 400
HR208 Tri Mora FLAG 924 20988 23 278
HR209 Plodovi Mora FLAG 3570 82917 23 7500
HR210 Lostura FLAG 231 17143 74 345
HR211 Galeb FLAG 522 21304 41
HR212 Brac FLAG 396 13956 35 182
HR213 Skoji FLAG 475 16237 34
HR214 Juzni Jadran FLAG 792 36147 46 230
(*)according to the information received from the FLAG


Publication date: 
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