The coastal area of Slovenia includes the coastal part of four municipalities: Ankaran, Izola, Koper, Piran, which border the Gulf of Trieste in the northernmost part of the Adriatic Sea. The Slovenian coastline measures only 46.6 km and the total value of the catch here represents only 0.01% of national GDP. However, the fishing sector is very important for the area’s economy and the preservation of workplaces, culture, traditions and local identity.
The Slovenian fishing fleet consist of 169 vessels, of which 91% do not exceed 12m. They are mostly involved in small-scale coastal fishing. The most frequent fishing equipment is static gear which used to catch demersal species. However, Slovenian fishermen also catch migratory fish species (sardines, anchovies, sprats). The number of enterprises in the fisheries sector is relatively high; in 2014, 85 legal entities were registered with 149 employees. Most of the catch is sold directly to regular customers (processing industry, commercial agents) in Slovenia and Italy, part of it is sold at the Trieste fish market in Italy. In the area of the Istra LAG there are also two freshwater fish farms.
The fishing sector is in decline; despite a high-quality catch, its consumption in Slovenia is low and most of it ends up on the Italian market. Since Slovenia’s independence, the catch area is limited to the national sea and since its entry to the EU market there is strong competition. The number of active fishermen and jobs in the sector has decreased, the average age of fishing fleet is relatively high. There is a lack of investments in the sector, and a lack of diversification and connection with other sectors. Some fishermen are engaged in other activities, such as tourism.
Natura 2000, Landscape park Strunjan, Landscape park Sečovlje saltpans, natural monument Debeli rtič, natural monument Cape Madona, Škocjanski zatok natural reserve
The 2014-2020 strategy of Istra LAG identified several key development potentials in connection to fisheries including sustainable tourism and the development of short supply-chains with high-quality local products.
The development in the area is based on:
Creating a link between touristic and gastronomic providers operating in the area and raising the quality of the service through the strengthening of connections, partnership and creation of conditions for entrepreneurship.
The FLAG is interested in cooperation within Slovenia and transnational cooperation, in particular with the neighbouring countries. In September 2016 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Italian and Croatian FLAGs for cooperation in the fisheries sector. Within the local development strategy one inter-territorial cooperation project was proposed (topic: “Evaluation of fish products”).
There are 137 members from public, private/economic and civil sector. Four members are representatives of municipalities. Other members include farmers, fishermen, tourism businesses and NGOs, e.g. societies for sustainable development, limited liability companies, chambers, individuals and educational institutions.