Croatia plans to modernize fishing fleet

ZAGREB (SeeNews) – Croatia said on Friday it will invest 241 million kuna (33 million euros) to revamp its obsolete fishing fleet in domestic shipyards to make fishermen competitive prior to the country’s European Union accession. Under an agreement signed by the Croatian ministries of economy, agriculture and maritime affairs on Friday, the government will cover 30 percent of the cost of the project. Fishermen will be liable to pay 10 percent of the cost of the work initially, with the remaining 60 percent provided by state-owned Croatian bank for reconstruction and development and several commercial banks. The project includes construction of 26 vessels, worth 217 million kuna, and modernization, worth 24 million kuna, of seven vessels. «The agreement is important not only because it will support fishermen but also because it will employ domestic shipyards,» said Finance Minister Ivan Suker. There had not been a similar organized revamp of the fishing fleet for 20 years, Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Minister Petar Cobakovic told reporters.