SLOVENIA - The EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, has inaugurated fish landing facilities financed by the European Fisheries Fund in Slovenia.
The visit also provided an opportunity to meet the Slovenian minister responsible for fisheries, Mr Dejan Židan, and to talk to representatives of the local fishing sector.
Between 2007 and 2013, available EU funding for Slovenian fisheries amounted to €22 million. The follow-up fund, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, makes a further €25 million available for the period 2014-2020.
Commissioner Vella highlighted how this funding could make the Slovenian fishing sector even more efficient: money could be used to improve selectivity, increase the value of catches, and invest in healthier and more productive marine eco-systems. In addition, it could help Slovenian fishermen deal with the landing obligation for demersal species, which will become compulsory as from 1 January 2017.
Commissioner Vella also used the opportunity to ask for Slovenia's support in halting the decline of fish stocks in the Mediterranean, an issue of major concern. He encouraged Slovenia to work closely with its Italian and Croatian neighbours to this effect.
The Slovenian fishing sector is exclusively small-scale and coastal. It provides an important backdrop to blue economy activities such as coastal tourism.
TheFishSite News Desk