Wednesday, 20 January 2021 11:08

Croatia fisheries administration is advancing towards electronic delivery and data processing

EM1 21 News Int CroatiaOver the last few years, Croatia has set a path to introduce electronic data delivery for the entire fisheries sector. The progress is evident and the introduction of electronic data delivery is very well accepted by the end-users - fishermen, farmers, buyers and the administration itself. Commercial fishers can deliver catch and landings data on paper (logbooks or reports), electronically through e-logbooks, via an app, or by email. Up until now, nearly 40% of the fishing fleet delivers daily catch and landing data electronically/digitally or by mobile application. What is even more significant is that these data cover nearly 98% of the catch.

Regarding freshwater and marine aquaculture, farmers deliver yearly production and sale data, electronically through the Commercial Fisheries Portal. The same portal is used by transporters and first buyers, and by beneficiaries of the support measures in fisheries and aquaculture. Documentation on transport, weighing and first sale is filled in on the portal enabling the cross checking of all documents in real time. In addition, the fisheries administration has established a traceability system for bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) and swordfish (Xiphias gladius) that obliges every fisherman to mark the fish and introduce the barcode in the electronic system that will be passed to the first buyer and afterwards to any additional buyer in the distribution chain until the final consumer. By scanning the bar code or by entering the bar code on the web page, the consumer can trace the fish and get the information about the species, area of catch, fishing gear, and about the fisherman her- or himself.

Sports and recreational fishing are also accounted for. In addition to the already established online sale of permits for marine sport and recreational fishing, a new web application has been developed allowing fishermen to buy fishing permits/licence as well as to enter catch (caught and retained) data. Future plans for upgrading the system include cartographic presentation of all inland fishing areas, including on-site number of fishermen in real-time. In addition, new application for marine sport and recreational fisheries is being planned for future development. The various electronic/digital systems are simpler for users and provide more accurate and efficient reports and analyses for the decision makers as well as for the scientific community. In terms of surveillance and control, major advances are also visible, like fisheries inspectors’ use of drones and access to real time data. The benefits of using digital solutions are evident and encourages continued focus on this path.