The author, Mike Park, Chief Executive of the Scottish White Fish Producers Association (SWFPA), found that Croatian fishermen have difficulty making their voices heard beyond the regional level. By following the Scottish example, Croatia could attract new recruits to the industry, strike a better balance between small and large vessel fishermen, and reduce costs.

Mr Park examined the long history of self-representation and industry governance in Scotland, and how this compares to Croatia, which has no history of Fishermen's federations or of any real interaction between legislators and the industry.

Mr Park concluded that Scottish Fishing Industry representatives should work with their Croatian counterparts to help form similar representative trade bodies in Croatia. 

Commenting Mr Park said:

"The findings in the paper and the recommendations could go some way, I think, to seeing much closer co-operation between the Croatian and Scottish fishing Industries. There is much to commend the Croatian fishing industry and if the Scottish model of representation and interaction with legislators can be in any way introduced in that country, it will, I believe, have a very strong future indeed."

The report was co-sponsored by Dr Ian Duncan, Conservative MEP for Scotland, and Ruza Tomasic, a Croatian MEP.

Speaking at the report's launch, which took place at Skipper Expo in Aberdeen, Ian said:

"Scotland and Croatia are countries where fishing is integral- not only economically, but also to the communities that line our coast. Mike Park who has had over a decade of experience representing the views of Scottish Fishermen, has produced this incredibly well thought out and detailed report and his conclusions and recommendations are well worth reading. I hope that Scottish and Croatian industry can work together to implement some of the recommendations and create a fully functioning and representative body for Croatian fishermen that will do for them, what organisations like the SWFPO has done for Scottish fishermen."

Ruza Tomasic, a Croatian Conservative MEP said:

"For Croatia, fishing is very important activity with a tradition and cultural heritage. Coastal and island fishing constitutes a traditional form of fishing, a way of life for many Croatians and a significant source of livelihood, particularly in areas which depend on coastal fishing and which require special measures and support to facilitate growth and development."

"I welcome this report and hope that the Croatian Fishing industry can work with its counterparts in Scotland to improve representation for fishermen."

You can read the biography of the author here


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